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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Walking Network Planning Guidance

What is walking network planning?

Walking network planning is a tool to help you understand the walking transport needs and opportunities in a place, generally up to a 2-kilometre catchment. This guidance shows you how to prepare:

  • a walking network plan showing preferred walking routes based on data and stakeholder engagement
  • an action program that accompanies the walking network plan and is an agreed approach for implementation.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads recommends that you also prepare a project report summarising the data, engagement findings, overall process and endorsement.

The value of TMR's walking network planning guidance is that it helped us to understand priority walking routes in Mareeba. We identified more than 70 projects that have been sorted into short, medium, and long-term categories.

The short-term suite of works includes improving or replacing footpaths, addressing missing links and improving crossings at several intersection locations in Mareeba. These projects are all about getting shovels into the ground to improve safety and accessibility for residents in a sustainable and affordable way.”

Angela Toppin, Mayor, Mareeba Shire Council, 2023

This guidance has been developed for:

  • Queensland local and state authorities
  • transport practitioners
  • planners
  • urban designers
  • architects
  • developers
  • community groups.

There are five stages of a walking network planning project:

This guidance is consistent with transport planning practice for other transport modes. Use it when you need to:

  • create a plan to achieve a safe, comfortable and more connected walking environment to and from a specific destination
  • undertake precinct planning to improve walking across an area
  • prioritise and plan works, budgets and funding schedules to implement improvements for walking
  • integrate walking networks into planning for movement and place.

If you are assessing walking needs at a small scale for a low-impact project with limited residential population or destinations, use the Queensland Government's Walkability Improvement Tool. Community groups or organisations may also find this tool valuable. They can also nominate locations for councils to consider undertaking walking network planning.

What's new in the 2024 edition?

The first edition of Queensland's walking network planning guidance, published in 2021, was a hybrid of the Principal Pedestrian Networks guidelines from the Victorian Government and the Walkability Improvement Tool. We thank the Victorian Department of Transport (now Department of Transport and Planning) for permission to use their guidelines.

This update incorporates learning from several walking network planning projects and user experience to produce bespoke, standalone guidance for Queensland. The changes are:

  • improved network planning options (radial, precinct and corridor)
  • new instructions for preparing plans in locations with fewer than 10,000 residents
  • case studies based on user experience
  • added guidance for stakeholder engagement options
  • 'priority works program' terminology replaced with 'action program' to more accurately describe the implementation stages of the guidance
  • separate evaluation stage removed – instead, evaluation is integrated into each stage of the process
  • instructions on how to seek plan endorsement and publication.

The superseded version of the guidance is available for download if required.

First Peoples connection to Country

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have lived, walked on and cared for land for millennia, in what is now known as Queensland. We acknowledge that many of the transport routes of today follow song lines of the First Nations peoples of Queensland.

We acknowledge that First Nations peoples have long valued walking as a transport mode and often have culturally significant purposes for their walking routes. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors of this land, their spirits and their legacy.

The 5 stages of walking network planning

Last updated 3 May 2024