Category Archives: Transport professionals

Interviews with people who work in the built environment and transport sectors to improve pedestrian quality and making places more walkable

Nick Cowen talking walking

Andrew Stuck accompanies Nick Cowen, a Senior Rights of Way officer on a walk to inspect a bridleway in south Wiltshire that has been recently cleared by a contractor. FlintNick is an accomplished photographer and musician and has recently turned his hand to writing about his work as seen through the eyes of an early nineteenth century pedestrian tourist. The interview was recorded in September 2009. 19′ 40″ 9.2MB

Download notes of items mentioned in this episode: Nick_Cowen

Since we recorded this interview, Nick has turned his hand to contemporary fiction with “Trust Harrison” – it may be fiction but you won’t find a truer insight into the trials of a Rights of Way warden.

STOP PRESS on the 15 August 2019 Nick Cowen retired after 30 years as a Rights of Way officer.

Tony Armstrong talking walking

Tony Armstrong of Living Streets, LSlogoBritain’s leading campaigners on behalf of the pedestrian talks about how they are lobbying the government for better streets. This interview was recorded in December 2008. 19’24” 9.1 MB

Download notes of items mentioned in this episode: Tony Armstrong

STOP PRESS: In July 2014, Tony Armstrong left Living Streets to become the CEO of Locality

Robert Huxford talking walking

Robert Huxford is Director of Britain’s UDGlogoUrban Design Group based in Clerkenwell, London. In this interview, recorded on a wet weekday morning while walking around Clerkenwell, with an almost constant background noise from motor traffic, Robert shares with us his enthusiasms for travel by foot.  14’43” 6.9 MB

Download notes of items mentioned in this episode: Robert Huxford

Bill Chandler talking walking

Bill Chandler was Chair of the Victoria State Urban Arts Unit in the mid-1980s and founding member of the Australian Urban Design Forum Inc, for which he remains the convenor. In the 1990s, Bill was Chief Planner, Urban Designer and Marketing Director for the early stages of the Melbourne Docklands Development. Trained as an architect, town planner and engineer, Bill now heads up his own consulting company advising clients from the private and public sectors, and community groups.  He chairs the annual Australian Urban Awards, is a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia, and received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to town planning and urban design. 18′ 53″ 8.9 MB

Download notes of items mentioned in this episode: Bill_Chandler

Listen to Bill Chandler’s 5 year walking forecast recorded in 2013.


What Bill had been doing since our interview:

Bill Chandler is the editor of Urban Voices, a book celebrating 25 years of Urban Design in Australia, which not only looks back but forward to the future – download a brochure. you can order your copy from here.  You can download his CV here.

Bill Chandler passed away in July 2022 – we really valued his openness and generosity in sharing his knowledge and encouraging us in our work to improve people’s lives through urban design.  Although our time together was all too brief, we had a lot of fun. 

Leon Yates talking walking

Urban designer Leon Yates was the author of the City of Melbourne’s walking strategy: he provides an insight into what makes a great Australian street. 19′ 8″ 9 MB

Download notes of items mentioned in this episode: Leon Yates

In 2015  took the decision to leave the field of urban design to set up an ice cream parlour and community cafe in Bichinoe, Tasmania – I sea scoops opens on 1 October, 2015 you read about it on Facebook, and get a free scoop by mentioning you heard Leon first on Talking Walking!  Name an urban designer flavour!

STOP PRESS Having run an ice cream parlour for five years, Leon has retrained as a conservationist and nature trek guide.

Listen to Leon’s 20×20 Vision for walking in 2040

Jacky Kennedy talking walking

Jacky Kennedy lives in Toronto, Canada, and was the Founding Director of Canada Walks at Green Communities Canada and has been a long time walking and cycling activist. Jacky became involved in the walk to school movement in 1996 as a parent concerned about the traffic safety at her son’s school, herself contributing as a driving working Mom! Over the next 18 years Jacky championed the Active & Safe Routes to School initiative in Toronto, helping the expansion across Canada through the development and implementation of a Canadian School Travel Planning model. Jacky was instrumental in bringing the prestigious Walk21 international conference series to Canada for the first time in 2007 to Toronto, leading to the creation of a series of Walkability Roadshows and the creation of Canada Walks in 2009. Prior to her retirement in December 2016, Jacky worked to ensure the sustainability of School Travel Planning in Canada and continues to provide expert guidance to this work.

Over the course of her 20 years advocating for walking and walkable communities in Canada, Jacky has observed a marked shift in attitudes and behaviours with many more people adopting active human-powered mobility for many of their shorter daily trips and municipalities across Canada developing pedestrian plans and prioritizing children’s mobility.  This will mean an increasing proportion of local government spend will be for improving pedestrian infrastructure.
Active-and-Safe-routes-to-schoolThe interview took place beside the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London in May 2008.27’32” 12.9 MB

Download notes of items mentioned in this episode: Jacky_Kennedy

In October 2013, Jacky made a 5 year walking forecast, you can listen to it here

What has Jacky done since our interview and what has happened in Canada

“Walkability roadshows conducted across Canada in 2009 and 2011;  in Alberta we held 5 community workshops and trained Alberta Health Services to deliver them, which they continue to do and presented on at Walk21 in Calgary in 2017.

Walk21 Vancouver 2011; Walk21 Calgary 2017 – Advisor to both.

Development of the WALK Friendly Communities designation program See the Showcase document for the communities awarded designation to date:

In 2010-12 GCC had three years of funding from Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. To develop a Canadian School Travel Planning model and implement it in every province and territory, getting new programs off the ground and helping to strengthen existing ones. That work has continued through today with so many incredible successes:

Today the ASRTS program in Ontario is moving to a very sustainable level with 3 years of funding to work with school districts to implement school travel planning. An example of how this came to be was work I directed with Heart & Stroke Foundation resulting in this report: Ontario government has now provided funding to GCC to greatly expand the STP model.

There’s lots of detail on how STP has evolved in Canada here:

I led GCC’s work with University of Toronto on several ASRTS and STP research initiatives, and one on cost-effectiveness of STP is covered in the book: Walking: Connecting Sustainable Transport with Health; Edited by Corinne Mulley, Klaus Gebel and Ding Ding; Emerald Publishing – Chapter 6 Walkng To and From School (me and George Mammen, PhD).”

Jacky retired at the end of 2016 but continues to provide advice and guidance on sustainable and active transportation.

Listen to Jacky Kennedy’s 20×20 Vision of walking in 2040

Alexandra Rook talking walking

An Interview with Alexandra Rook, Project Director of WalkLondonlogoWalk London, overseeing 350 miles of strategic walking routes in and around the capital. 18′ 30″ 8.7 MB

Download notes of items mentioned in this episode:Alexandra_Rook (Updated December 2018)

Since her role as Project Director of Walk London, Alexandra Rook has worked as a practice manager for an architecture practice and now is working for the Urban Design Group, a body of professionals working in the built environment.  We interviewed Robert Huxford, its director and you can listen to that interview here.