SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

October 06, 2016 10:00 ET

University of Calgary to host international conference on the transformative power of walking

Walk21 to be held in Calgary September 2017

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - October 06, 2016) - The University of Calgary has been chosen to host the XVIII Walk21 International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities, in September 2017. The university has partnered with the City of Calgary to host the prestigious event.

Walk21, short for 'Walking in the twenty-first Century,' celebrates the joy of walking and its ability to transform communities. Walk21 encourages and supports walking as part of transportation, recreation, and health through effective policies, programs, and urban planning. The Walk 21 conference brings together academia, citizens, policy-makers, urban planners, healthcare professionals, and local leaders who are invested in fostering healthy and vibrant communities.

"The University of Calgary has the privilege of collaborating with Walk21 and the City of Calgary to promote the benefits of walking in our beautiful city," says University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon. "We look forward to hosting international and local delegates, who will help shape this vital global conversation about creating healthier neighbourhoods and communities, as well as sustainable growth."

The three-day event will draw as many as 600 attendees from around the world. Delegates will experience Calgary's emerging walkability, discuss how walking can transform rapidly growing cities, and be exposed to new ideas and recent evidence about how walking connects communities and people.

"We are delighted to be bringing the conference back to Canada again, where the national commitment continues to strengthen and there is more energy than ever to pivot cities forwards beyond their auto-centric past to a more walkable future," says Jim Walker, founder of Walk21. "Calgary is a city that is ready to re-invent itself. Less dependent on the car, it has a community that wants to be better connected and healthier; and there is a world renowned University bubbling with expertise and energy that wants to help it get there. It promises to be quite a journey and Walk21 will be there for every step of it. We look forward to sharing it with you too."

Walk21 has been hosted in cities around the world, including Vancouver, Toronto, London, Barcelona, New York, Munich and Sydney. The 2016 conference has just wrapped up in Hong Kong.

The City of Calgary recognizes the value of walking, and has implemented a pedestrian strategy to encourage Calgarians to develop a culture of walking.

"I am very pleased that the University of Calgary will host the Walk21 conference in 2017," says Naheed Nenshi, mayor of Calgary. "Creating a more walkable community is important to our citizens, and Walk21 will help advance this goal in Calgary. We know that walking is the most sustainable form of transportation and The City of Calgary is implementing a pedestrian strategy to help Calgarians choose to walk more often."

For more details about Walk21 2017 in Calgary, visit

Media please note: Dr. Gavin McCormick, co-chair of the Walk21 Calgary Steering Committee, is available for interviews with reporters upon request. Please contact Media Relations to set up an interview.

About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'

For more information, visit Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media centre at

About Walk21
Walk21 is the international organization supporting and promoting walking. Through its partnership of professionals, Walk21 seeks to encourage and support walking as a part of daily transport, recreation and health through effective policies, programmes and planning. Walk21 hosts the only international conference series about walking. Since the Walk21 series began in 2000, it has played a valuable part in the promotion of walking internationally, showcasing cities, publishing best practice and developing new initiatives and partnerships. Visit

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Sean Myers
    Media Relations Advisor
    University of Calgary
    W: 403.220.4756
    C: 403.607.7618