Inspiration (vision)

Do you know the frustration when you walk somewhere only to surrounded by traffic, pollution and noise? Well, we have a solution.

Walk this city is a mobile app that allows you to discover the most healthy and enjoyable walking routes near you.

The Walk this City team:

I am Kim, a design thinker and a love for the outdoors. Rajesh, a connector and social thinker, passionate about livable cities. Nic, a software developer, avid cyclist but would walk more if he knew where the walkable routes were.

What problem does walking solve?

Well, research shows that:

Walking in green spaces can increase your immune system, reduce stress and enhance social cohesion. 40% of Australians do not achieve the minimum 30 minutes of daily exercise. The city of Sydney has a target to increase walking levels to 25% by 2020.

How do we know there is a market opportunity?

There are a few ‘healthy’ walking apps in UK/Europe like Walkonomics, but currently, none in Australia which focuses on walking routes that take into account ‘walkability’ including green spaces, air quality and amenity.

Google maps walking directions from the WWF Hackathon to Central station take me on a traffic-heavy route down Ultimo road!

Whereas Our Walk this City app will find the best route, such as this Goods Line walkway. Here we see Frank Gehry architecture, cafe's, flora & fauna, open green space hosting free yoga workshops etc., open seating amenities, a pedestrian priority route which leads directly via an artistic subway with painted mosaic tiles and busking. Our App 'searches' for the aspects that make a route more walkable and gives these a higher weighting.

Second, do we have customers?

We spoke with three sponsors of the Hackathon and got quick validation:

Uber employees Jovannie said that Uber has a culture of walking meetings and they would test our prototype in their office. Nick, head of HR at WWF (world wildlife fund), said this “would free up office room resources and encourage activity” to increase wellbeing. They would test our prototype. Jane, the talent manager at Schneider, also said they would test the prototype.

Our solution

We developed our rapid prototype application by:

Pulling data from Open Street Map, Transport NSW and Tulip open data networks. Presently, the algorithm uses street type and green spaces to show visual grading of walkability. In the future, heat sensors, user reviews and noise levels will display for personalised, healthier walking routes. Calendar integration for walking meeting options, safety ratings, convenience stores, all future features.

Social and environmental impact

In the future, we will collect data on what makes a walkable city and promote sustainability policy. We can measure the value of green policies like the Green Grid, connecting green corridors, by measuring use. We can monitor link between walkers and health, and the data generated will help Urban Planners better prioritise walking infrastructure development and more effectively measure the societal value green spaces bring.

Next steps

Build a prototype. test prototype with Pilot partners Schnieder, WWF and Uber. Build a community of interest within test area of Central Sydney and Parramatta via pop-up’s, walking networking tours of Sydney green grid and more.

Call to action

Mentoring + Technical expertise from Event partners to launch a prototype. Venues and participants to test prototype. guidance on discovering relevant open data sets and access to existing green policy papers & research on wellbeing benefits of walking in nature.

Summary Recap:

  • Essence: discover the most enjoyable and refreshing walking experiences around you

  • Description: an App which guides People through "healthier walking spaces" e.g. Green grid, quieter streets, urban canopy etc.

  • App journey:

  • person enters start & end destination (can be A to B or A to A)

  • The app shows Person the "healthier walking routes" based on their specific constraints e.g. Time, wheelchair user etc.

  • The person arrives at the destination (or origin) feeling refreshed and de-stressed.

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