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Edinburgh's Walk Hack hopes to improve the city for pedestrians

Edinburgh's Walk Hack hopes to improve the city for pedestrians

A new Walk Hack is set to stomp through the city in an effort to make the capital more walking friendly.

Leaning on the popular 'cyclehack’, a new two-day event is looking for anyone with an opinion on how to improve the streets for walkers, and get brainstorming while pounding Edinburgh’s paths.

Whether it's an uneven surfaces, an overcrowded path or bus shelter seats that are too close to the road - an issue Living Streets Edinburgh is currently campaigning against - the new project is looking to hear people’s views and let them be a part of the motion to make change.

  (© Living Streets Edinburgh)
via STV via STV

Hosted by charity Sustrans and design agency Snook, the event will act as a platform for working with Edinburgh Council to come up with new ways to make it easier for people to get about the city.

“The whole hack thing has become quite a popular way to tackle problems like this,” Keira Anderson, co-design lead at Snook, said.

“It is not only trying to find out what the barriers are but also trying to propose a solutions for them.

“We are absolutely up for people bringing new challenges to the table, but what we are really hoping we will get out of the event are some solutions to these that can be taken forward.

via STV via STV

"Some of the challenges we have already identified are that all the major streets in Edinburgh are quite busy with pedestrians but some of the smaller streets and side streets are maybe underused, even though they might be a quicker route.

“We are looking at why that might be. Why people choose not to walk down the wynds, the lanes or the stairs, and how we might be able to encourage them to do that to distribute the footfall a little bit.”

  (© Kim Traynor/ CC: http://bit.ly/1Gmasu9)
via STV via STV

Another area up for discussion is how to encourage walking in Edinburgh’s more hilly and historical streets.

“It is quite hard to make a judgement on how long a route might take, even if you look at it on Google Maps and it says 20 minutes," Keira said. "Are there stairs or hills or is there cobbled sections?

“We will look at some of those issues and how we can make it easier for people to judge.”

Taking place on October 30 and 31, the free events will feature films and talks from experts on topics such as the challenges to walking in cities and how to influence behaviour change. After the event, the council will work with Snook to look at the ideas and explore and support the implementation of some of these concepts into the city.

Cecilia Oram from Sustrans Scotland, added: "The Walk Hack is citizen-led and aimed at developing innovative ways to get more people walking in Edinburgh.

"We'll be taking to the streets to try out the ideas that people come up with over the weekend, which could range to anything to physical products, ideas for new campaigns or policy ideas for improving walking conditions in the city."

For more information, visit Walk Hack's Facebook page.

Top image: Malc McDonald/ CC: http://bit.ly/1PLiWgn

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