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Call for Contributions

Walk21 Calgary: (re)Connecting Community Together

The XVIII International Conference on Walking and Liveable Cities

September 19–22, 2017

Download the Call for Contributions PDF »

Abstract Submission has now closed.


Walk21 Calgary will examine how walking fosters healthy and vibrant communities, and encourages cities to become more resilient and sustainable in the wake of rapid urban growth. Delegates will experience Calgary’s emerging walkability, and be exposed to new ideas about how walking can connect people and communities. We will reflect on the lessons of the past, create new knowledge, examine social dynamics, and build momentum for the new walking city.

Hosted by the University of Calgary in partnership with Walk21 and the City of Calgary, Walk21 Calgary will bring citizens, academics, urban planners, health care professionals, and community leaders together to discuss, debate and design our walkable futures.

Calgary is at a pivotal moment in its transition towards a more walkable future. Like many cities around the world, Calgary must grapple with the challenges of rapid growth: auto-centric design, urban sprawl, and strain on shared resources. Walk21 Calgary aims to steer this transformation by celebrating past successes, highlighting current advocacy and research initiatives, and leveraging international expertise to envision a new future for Calgary and cities like it. Together, we will strike a path for emerging walkable cities around the world.

Walking is more critical than ever to our global future: the international community is focused on the importance of sustainable transport to underpin commitments to climate (2015 Paris Climate Change Conference), urban habitats (UN’s New Urban Agenda) and sustainable development (UN Sustainable Development Goals).

The conference program will feature keynotes, plenary sessions, symposia, breakout presentations and walkshops in downtown and suburban Calgary. We look forward to Walk21 delegates working alongside local citizens to re-imagine Calgary’s walkable future, and making a coordinated effort to contribute to it.

Walk21 Calgary will connect:

    • Local communities who walk as a mode of transport and source of social engagement,
    • Academics who are researching the importance of walking and how to deliver more walkability,
    • Professional practitioners who are responsible for delivering walkable communities and enabling people to walk,
    • Politicians who are leading successful, liveable and vibrant communities, and
    • Campaigners who champion walking as a catalyst for further equity, climate mitigation and public health improvements.

 Four conference themes will weave these connections together:

    • Learning lessons from the past: What can we learn from the legacy of neighbourhoods where the degree of walking has historically been high, to help ensure walking in newer communities and those still to come?
    • Building new knowledge: What is at the cutting edge of research and professional practice, and how can we best connect these two arenas, through policy and action, to support the needs of people who walk?
    • Connecting grassroots and government:  What are societies’ demands and needs for walking, and how can politicians have a vision, set priorities and communicate change to both deliver walkability and inspire communities to walk with them?
    • Creating momentum for the new walking city: What investments in walking can leverage the best economic, social, health and cultural benefits in the short and long term?

You are invited to submit your ideas, papers and proposals for the conference under these themes. 

Important Dates and Deadlines (updated December 16, 2016)

Call for abstracts

November 21, 2016

Abstract submission opens

January 6, 2016

Abstract submission closes

February 24, 2017 (deadline extended)

Notification of acceptance

April 1, 2017

Presenter confirmation of acceptance

May 1, 2017

Conference registration opens

May 1, 2017

Walk21 Calgary pre-conference workshops and reception

September 19, 2017

Walk21 Calgary 2017 conference

September 20–22, 2017

*Dates are subject to change. Please consult the Walk21 Calgary website for updates.