Economics of Walking

ECONOMICS OF WALKING

Walking is one of the most natural and intuitive means of transport – it needs no equipment, no special skills and we all learn to do it as young children. While walking is unsuitable for long distances, and impractical in very wet, hot or cold weather, walking for short trips has many benefits to the individual and society.

People who walk face less stress, better health and lower transport costs; society gets reduced road congestion, more active public spaces and thriving businesses. For many, the decision to walk or not is influenced by the infrastructure around them. Too often, this infrastructure prioritises the speed and safety of the car or public transport journeys over those of pedestrians.

THE PANEL

SGS Economics and Planning, the Planning Institute of Australia and the Economic Society Australia have joined together to present a panel discussion on how a city’s infrastructure shapes walking decisions, and how these decisions affect the vibrancy of a city and its economy.

Terry Rawnsley will discuss how improving walking routes and access in the CBD can boost a city’s economy by hundreds of millions of dollars, through improving face to face business contacts. Marcia Keegan will show how the factors that influence Canberrans’ decisions to walk to work or take some other form of transport. Karen Wright will outline the urban designs that support safe, healthy and quick walking. The panel session will include discussion from the audience.

Terry Rawnsley is a renowned economist who provides advice to all tiers of government, not for profit organisations and the private sector. Terry helps businesses and governments make informed decisions by taking complex data sets and distilling them into simple to understand options. Terry’s key strength is in explaining how rail projects have the potential to reshape the urban form, economy and housing markets of Melbourne and Regional Victoria. Terry’s advice is based on a firm understanding of past trends and how they might play out in the future.

He is Australia’s leading thinker on the link between urban productivity and the macroeconomy and is a regular media commentator on the functioning of our cities and regions. He is a prolific writer, producing research papers and contributing to academic debate across a broad range of topic.

His experience also includes public policy development, economic modelling, examining social exclusion, strategy development, detailed economic appraisal and statistical analysis. Terry’s advice is highly-sought after for economic development, land use and transport strategies and individual infrastructure projects.

In 2017, Terry was awarded the National Planning Champion Award by PIA - which is presented to a non-planner who promotes good planning and raises awareness of planning issues to the wider community.

Marcia Keegan is an experienced economist with over fifteen years’ experience across the private, public and academic sectors. During this time she mastered a wide range of economic methods and expertise in modelling, projections, data analysis and policy analysis and managed a range of projects. Her particular areas of expertise are project evaluation, including cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis; financial analysis; regulation impact assessment; regional economic impact assessment and microsimulation modelling.

She is a former President of the ACT branch of the Economic Society of Australia, the Convenor of the 2018 Australian Conference of Economists and a Life Member of the ACT branch of the Economic Society.

Karen Wright is an urban planner with 20 years' experience working across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in urban planning, transport, policy and development projects. She has an ongoing interest in the impact of the built environment on population health and how better designed places can support active living. This has included work on incorporating active living principles into the ACT Government’s Territory Plan, research on active transport implementation and contributing to the development of the ACT’s first Active Travel Framework.

The event will be facilitated by Guy Jakeman, President of the Economic Society Australia.

Drink and canapés provided.

Event Date: March 26th, 2019
Start Time: 5:30 pm
End Time: 8:30 pm
Venue: QT Hotel Canberra, Eureka Room
Address: 1 London Circuit, Canberra, ACT 2601
RSVP by: March 19th, 2019