Nelson Wins National Award this time for walking

August 3, 2010

I reported about a month back our local disappointment when we lost out to New Plymouth in the final application round for $7million of New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) “Model Communities” funding.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Good news today though, Nelson has won the 2010 “Golden Foot Award” in the Top Commitment to Walking by a New Zealand Organisation category.

Living Streets Aotearoa give the award to the place in NZ that best demonstrates a Top Commitment to Walking.

Who might you ask, is Living Streets Aoteroa?

According to their website, Living Streets Aotearoa is the NZ organisation for people on foot, promoting walking friendly communities. The name was modeled on a similar organisation in the UK.

Their aim?

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

You may recall back in March, many towns and cities around NZ celebrated Walk2Work day.

Walk2Work is another of their initiatives to encourage people to leave the car at home for one day a year.

Another is the Yellow Feet campaign.

Pavement Stikcers for the Yellow Steps Campaign

Commenting on the win, Nelson City Council Chief Executive Keith Marshall said;

“It’s wonderful to be acknowledged at a national level for our work,” he says. “Nelson has been committed to making walking, and cycling for that matter, a safe and easy choice for many years. So we have a real head start on many other places in terms of our investment in infrastructure, policy and community support.”

Further, Mr Marshall said it is not the first time Nelson has been recognised as a leader in active transport, having previously picked up three cycle friendly awards.

Touching base on the “Model Communities” point,  he mentioned;

“It has been a period of highs and lows for active transport. The Nelson Cycle Trust receiving $2.6 million for the regions two cycle trails goes a long way to making up for the disappointment felt after NZTA overlooked Nelson’s Model Community funding application. We will continue to promote Nelson as a leader in active transport and it seems others continue to agree.”

If you are curious about their work, there is a Newsletter archive located here.

So yes, this article last month was already pointing the way.