REALLOCATE joins pedestrian advocates of Spain for the ‘walking conference’!

7 March 2024

REALLOCATE joins pedestrian advocates of Spain for the ‘walking conference’!

Do our politicians walk? Recovering the walkability of our cities is everyone's business, but especially for local administrations, if they want to improve the quality of life of people and public life in the city. This was one of the key messages and discussion points of the XI Andando (walking) conference, which REALLOCATE partner, the International Federation of Pedestrians (IFP) participated in during the last weekend of February.

Held in the European Green Capital 2024, Valencia, Spain, the conference brought together 21 pedestrian advocacy organisations from all over the peninsula and was a great space to highlight the grassroots work and change taking place in the participating cities. Andando is the Coordinator of Pedestrian Organisations within the Iberian Peninsula that includes both Spain and Portugal.

Day 1 opened with an emotional tribute to a well-known and beloved colleague, Ole Thorson, a great advocate for walkability and sustainable and safe mobility, member of Catalunya Camina, P(A)T, Andando and president and member of the board of IFP before sadly passing away last year.  This was followed by a series of presentations from grassroots organisations. Day 2 was organised around a gamified walk in Valencia along a “Critical Route” by Carlos Gómez and Eva Alvarez, Arquitects and Doctors at Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. During the walk the group stopped at a series of hotspots along the city where Carlos introduced the given problem and Eva pointed out each of the issues that existed from a gender perspective and how pedestrianisation is an essential element for the gender perspective and greater caring in our cities.

Sonia Vilchi, president of Andando and member of the Mallorcan pedestrian association “Vianants Mallorca” focused on the invisibility that walking has and went over current situation on the Spanish Island, highlighting how difficult it is to achieve change with the added problem of mass tourism and the lack of political will to create cities for pedestrians instead of cars. Carlos Ortí from Catalunya Camina explained the role motorbikes have in the city of Barcelona and how they have become one of the main obstacles on the sidewalks as the council dedicates space for them to park even on top of sidewalks.  Jose Luis Gisbert, member of “Valencia Camina” introduced the conference to the situation in Valencia, a city with huge potential given its tightly knit planning that has created a very compact urban distribution, allowing the longest walking journeys to take mostly 30 minutes. Jose Luis also explained how they are still struggling to improve walkability in a city that has been largely pushed towards the car during the last decades and what they expect to achieve as an association in the coming future. IFP was also invited to participate and introduce the work they are doing on a series of European projects, amongst which REALLOCATE has a special place, garnering great interest in the project, their work and the development of the sidewalk scanner.

As a final thought, during the walk a very valued idea was shared amongst those walking:

“Streets and public spaces make us all equal, or at least, should do”.



Image: IFP

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European Union

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme under grant agreement No. 101103924. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Mission Cities

REALLOCATE is a project under the CIVITAS Initiative, an EU-funded programme working to make sustainable and smart mobility a reality for all, and contributes to the goals of the EU Mission Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities.