There are seven main benefits to walking, many of which overlap:

A diagram of a transport system that improves wellbeing and liveability and its benefits

How the benefits of walking (outer shapes) relate to the Transport Outcomes Framework.[1]

The following seven sections describe how walking relates to the benefit areas. In terms of resilience and security, walking is obviously an important mode in times of natural disaster or pandemic.

Equity means that the benefits of investment in transport are distributed such that all people are able to participate in society.

Supporting a move to cleaner, healthier and more active transport modes like walking is key to address the issues of climate change.

Walking is the most space-efficient form of transport, and makes the best use of our streets.

Health and wellbeing
Many trips start and end with walking. This has been long acknowledged in health studies, where walking is considered the keystone to promote healthier lifestyles based on physical activities.

Walking can equitably allow people to access employment, community services, and natural environments, building a sense of community.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of car ownership in the world.

Supports public transport
A good public transport system relies on an efficient public transport network.

The following infographic can be used when engaging with the community, it communicates the key benefits of walking in plain language and uses New Zealand statistics and facts.

pedestrian network guide infographic including health, environment, efficiency, economy, community, good growth benefits

Engaging the community about benefits of walking.


Download key benefits of walking infographic [PDF, 64 KB]

Summary: the benefits of walking

The design of our urban environment influences our mode choices:

  • When land use density is higher, the distance between destinations is more walkable and public transport is easier to serve.
  • When the quality of the public realm is better, people feel safer walking and are therefore more likely to walk.
  • When people don’t need to drive everywhere, they can live with fewer or no cars – which saves money that is available to be spent locally.
  • When people drive less, there are fewer greenhouse gas emissions, noise, and injuries/fatalities from traffic crashes.
  • When people walk more, they build physical activity into their daily lives – improving health and mental wellbeing.