Case Study: Walking maps

PLACE: Huddinge Municipality,  part of Greater Stockholm, Sweden

SITUATION:  The Municipality had decided to set up a circular “walk for your heart trail”. The problem is that the municipality is so large, and has so many places that make fine walks it looked like the trail would not have the impact intended, as too few would use it, either because it was too far away or because the options were better and so many.

SECONDARY SITUATION: The National Health Service had recently introduced the idea of “exercise on prescription”. However, most of the doctors who work in the municipality were from other places and unfamiliar with the exercise opportunities available.

TERTIARY SITUATION: Swedes generally, according to statistics, were exercising less, and becoming less healthy.

FRAMING QUESTION: How can we, as a municipality, encourage people to walk more, to exercise more and at the same time provide doctors with the tools to really stimulate patients to use their “prescription for exercise”.

SOLUTION: The consulting group, AVBP, led by Stephen Hinton, produced a “Get Walking Map”.

Details on the map:

  • shortcuts to buses, shops, etc. as pram and wheelchair-friendly routes,
  • “green paths” with more a closeness to nature feeling.
  • cafes and other places to get refreshments
  • places to visit
  • distances and how fast you can walk them
  • Local clubs and associations
  • advice about staying healthy by walking more (10,000 steps a day)

RESULTS: the maps distributed at the library and sold in local bookshops became a big hit and the municipality got publicity for being a walking municipality. People in the planning department got hold of the map and started to change how they located houses, to make them more walking – friendly.

WHAT TO LEARN: Maps are good tools to promote the uniqueness of a place, and simple but effective when targeted at a problem. We also learned that people do not know their local place very well, a map is a way to rekindle interest!

Read more here Huddinge_ Walking_map

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