We were delighted to be invited to guest edit this special edition of The Geographer by The Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS).
This edition comes at a time when walking and cycling for health, travel, or recreation is more important than ever.
The magazine contains a series of articles exploring the benefits, barriers and practicalities of walking in Scotland and discusses a number of issues including: Why should we be investing more in active travel? How can we make it safe for all? What does it cost, or save? And how can we encourage more of it and maximise the health benefits, not only for ourselves, but for our planet?
On publication of the magazine, our Chief Officer, Ian Findlay CBE, commented:
“We’re pleased to partner with RSGS for this special Active Travel edition of the magazine. We carefully selected a number of academics, policy makers and programme managers, all of whom are experts in their field, to share their experiences and success stories on Scotland becoming an active nation. But not only that, this edition poses some key questions – what can we do better? What else do we need to do moving forward to make Scotland healthier, happier, and greener?
"We wanted to highlight the importance of active travel, and in particular walking, in this issue at a critical time of change. Now more than ever it’s important for people to take greater control of their physical and mental health.
Now more than ever it’s important for people to do their bit in tackling our climate emergency. I believe if we can get the country walking, every day and everywhere, for travel and for leisure, we can begin to tackle some of society’s biggest threats and challenges we face today.
The thought-provoking articles come from a wide range of experts including Professor Adrian Davies, Edinburgh Napier University; Irene Beautyman, The Improvement Service; Councilor Anna Richardson, Glasgow City Council; and Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach. Between them they have discussed the links between public health, transport and planning.
Lee Craigie, whose article ‘Activating a Nation’ explores her role as Active Nation Commissioner states:
"For too long our town planning has focused primarily on accommodating the car. I currently live in a 20-minute neighbourhood in the south of the city. I walk, run or ride wherever I need to go. If I have to carry a heavy load, I use a cargo bike. I have everything I need to shop, work and play locally, but I must admit that before Covid-19 I still travelled long distances to do all of these things. Being forced to remain local opened my eyes to all I was missing."
Read all the articles in full below.