Kingston will assess its walkability this fall as a pilot city with the Walk Friendly Ontario initiative. The City, prompted by KFL&A Public Health, is one of five Ontario municipalities to have signed on for the WALK Friendly pilot project.
“As a council, we passed a resolution that strives to make Kingston Canada’s most sustainable city, and as part of that goal we recognize the importance of promoting active transportation,” said Mayor Mark Gerretsen. “This pilot project is not only a great opportunity to measure walkability in Kingston, but also to promote walking as a viable choice of active transportation.”
WALK Friendly Ontario is a recognition program designed to encourage municipalities to create and improve spaces and places to walk (www.walkfriendly.ca). The assessment tool that communities will pilot test will measure walkability in the areas of policy and planning, engineering and community design, education and encouragement, and enforcement and evaluation.
“KFL&A Public Health is really excited to support an initiative that will inform and support our community to be active in a way that is safe, accessible and enjoyable,” says Stephanie Sciberras, Physical Activity Specialist with KFL&A Public Health.
The other communities participating are Fort Erie, Thunder Bay, the Municipality of South Huron (Exeter) and London. All five communities will assist Walk Friendly Ontario in evaluating the tool by applying the assessment to their communities and using the supporting materials.
“We are really hoping to create an overall picture of walking in Kingston. As a pilot city, Kingston hopes to set an example for other Ontario communities in becoming more walkable,” says Daniel Shipp, Sustainable Initiatives Coordinator. He says that being noted in this effort as a walkable city will highlight Kingston’s dedication to improving sustainability, accessibility, opportunities to be active – and promote the city’s many cultural and heritage destinations.
Media contact information: Cindie Ashton Communications Officer 613-546-4291 ext. 3116, cell 613-329-3462. The City of Kingston media hotline is 613-546-4291 ext. 2300.