Making walking a safer and more attractive transport choice is a key priority for the Transport Agency.

View research on walking experiences and the network for walking and footpath users in New Zealand.

Walking research

  • Impact on urban amenity in pedestrian environments

    This interim guidance includes a procedure consistent with existing Economic Evaluation Manual (EEM) guidance to value the benefits of quality improvements for users of footpaths and walking environments, and provides interim parameter values that can be used to value quality (including amenity) improvements. The values provided are interim until further work to confirm the parameter values in a New Zealand is complete.

    The interim guidance is called ‘valuing improved pedestrian facilities’ rather than valuing urban amenity. Whilst conceptually this work has its origin in the Transport for London (TfL) tool ‘Valuing Urban Realm Tool (VURT)’, because of location-specific differences and the EEM already providing for some elements of VURT, for example safety, a framework that is conceptually and methodologically sound for New Zealand with defendable parameter values has been developed.

    This report was commissioned by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and prepared by P Nunns and N Dodge (11 March 2020).

    Impact on urban amenity in pedestrian environments [PDF, 962 KB]

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  • Providing for walking

    The NZ Transport Agency commissioned Abley to conduct research into how well New Zealand is providing for walking, with a particular focus on existing guidance and policy.

    The research indicated that overall, New Zealand is well placed in terms of the strategic direction, policy and planning and design guidance, however there are some improvements that can be made into the funding processes and translating guidance into good practice.

    The Transport Agency is developing a programme of work to review and implement the report’s recommendations.

    View research report [PDF, 4.3 MB]
    View research summary presentation [PDF, 1.9 MB]

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  • Pedestrian experience and barriers

    The question of pedestrian experience is an important one, as it can help to shape the streets in a way that will encourage more people to enjoy them as pedestrians.

    The purpose of this literature review is to bring together a disparate literature on pedestrians to consider: who walks, why (and why not) they walk, where they walk, and their attitudes and beliefs to walking. Most importantly, this review will consider how these different facets shape their experience as pedestrians.

    Inconsistencies in the literature and research gaps are also highlighted in this review.

    View literature review [PDF, 1.2 MB]

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Walking research reports

Research conducted by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency:

  • RR 440 – Reducing pedestrian delay at traffic signals

    This research used techniques such as pedestrian attitude surveys, micro-simulation modelling and a literature review of international best practice to identify methods of reducing pedestrian delay at signalised intersections in these cities. The recommendations developed during the course of the research provide both technical and policy mechanisms for improving pedestrian delay in New Zealand's central-city areas.

    View the research report

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  • RR 669 – Transport impacts on wellbeing and liveability

    This research set out to show how the transport sector contributes to better living conditions for all New Zealand citizens through investment in related capital.

    Maximum wellbeing benefits will be achieved by ensuring that everyone has access to high quality, low-carbon, transport systems that promote health and social connection and generate high levels of travel satisfaction. The built environment, especially urban density, has a significant impact on the viability of active and public transport systems.

    View the research report

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  • RR 676 – Latent demand for walking and cycling

    This research was undertaken to help inform network planning for walking or cycling which is commonly undertaken with limited evidence or unreliable data.

    The research produced a stocktake and assessment of methodologies for estimating latent demand for walking and cycling and a ‘decision tree’ that can be used to identify the most appropriate modelling approach, or approaches.

    View the research report

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Walking research notes

Research notes are the output of research generally undertaken within short timeframes by Waka Kotahi in response to a specific issue or development and the outputs are not independently peer reviewed.

  • RN 003 – Pedestrian levels of service qualitative report

    There is currently a gap in terms of robust national models and tools that provide customer levels of service information regarding the ‘walkability’ of our pedestrian networks. Decision makers need better information from the perspective of people as pedestrians or public transport users.

    The priority factors for a positive pedestrian experience are the need to relax, and there are two overarching factors that contribute to a positive pedestrian environment and a relaxing experience – safety and amenity.

    The research has informed research report RR 667 – Developing methodologies for improving customer levels of service for walking.

    View the research note

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