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Signposting the routes to active transport

Friday 17 February 2017

Walking and cycling are great for health, the environment and the economy. Yet our cities and countryside are dominated by cars and the roads and parking spaces they require.

If your work involves cycling or walking support, transport infrastructure, health promotion, active travel advocacy, children’s health, community development, transport issues – whether in central or local government, urban design, business, or community advocacy, this course will be of interest.

Here’s a chance to catch up with the most recent research and debates about active travel, and meet up with others working in related fields.

Topics covered  

In this symposium-style course, speakers present latest research on:

  • the intersection of transport and health
  • the state of cycling and walking in our cities
  • what works to increase cycling and walking
  • children’s travel to and from school
  • the built environment and active travel
  • a unique case report on walking to work.
  • a panel discussion about conflicts in shared spaces.

Style of course

Symposium - Multi-speaker presentations and panel discussion in lecture theatre setting. Expect time for questions, discussion and debate.

Draft timetable

Time Session Presenter(s)
8:30am Registration

Welcome and introduction to the day

Why active transport matters

Benchmarking cycling and walking in six cities

Encouraging cycling and walking in two cities: the benefits of the Model Communities programme

Council solutions

Marie Russell

Alistair Woodward

Caroline Shaw

Michael Keall

Sarah Free

10:30am Morning tea

Individual, social, environmental and policy factors associated with active transport to school: Insights from the BEATS Study

Children’s travel to school: insights from the Kids’Cam study

School cultures & active transport to secondary schools in Palmerston North

Sandra Mandic

Michael Keall/ Marie Russell

Christine Cheyne

12:30pm Lunch break

Walking to work in Wellington: a case report

The psychology of the built environment: A designer’s insight into real world challenges of implementing walkability.

Bike Lash

Helen Viggers

Michael Lowe

Alistair Woodward, Kirsty Wild and Adrian Field

3pm Afternoon Tea
3:30pm Panel and discussion

Isabella Cawthorn
Esther Woodbury
Patrick Morgan
Jo Clendon
Jamie Povall

5pm Finish

Teaching staff  

Alistair Woodward bikes, walks, tramps and rode a skate board once. He is Head of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Auckland, part of the Future Streets research team, a collaborator in the Resilient Urban Futures programme, an epidemiologist and public health doctor by training, and is now involved in a number of studies on health, transport and the mitigation of climate change.

Caroline Shaw is a public health medicine specialist and epidemiologist at the Department of Public health, University of Otago, Wellington. Her recently-conferred PhD was about the health impacts of moving to a low carbon transport system.

Michael Keall is an injury epidemiologist in the Department of Public Health. His current research interests include exposure assessment for housing, roads and vehicles, and travel behaviour. Michael has had a long involvement in the development of the New Zealand Travel Survey. He leads the ACTIVE study.

Christine Cheyne is an Associate Professor in Massey University’s Resource and Environmental Planning Programme. She has research interests in public participation in local authority planning processes, and smart and sustainable transport policy and planning. She is Manawatu-Wanganui (Horizons) Regional Transport Committee’s advisory member for active transport and public transport.

Helen Viggers is a Research Fellow and PhD candidate at the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington. Her work focuses on housing energy use, temperature and health.

Sandra Mandic is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity and Health at the University of Otago (Dunedin). Her academic training and research experiences span Europe, Canada, United States and New Zealand. Her research interests include physical activity, public health, built environment and sustainability. She leads the BEATS Study and the Active Living Laboratory (

Isabella Cawthorn hails from Plimmerton. She's currently enjoying three lines of work: consulting to central government to support more active travel in towns, facilitation of a collaborative water management initiative in Porirua, and too much volunteering. She tweets as @fixiebelle and may be spotted going by bike in Porirua and Wellington, having streetside conversations, and drinking coffee.

Esther Woodbury (panel) Disabled Persons’ Assembly. In 2013, Esther completed her PhD at Otago University on the mobility, transport and social participation experiences of disabled drivers. Esther has worked as a disability researcher, government advisor and has recently joined the Disabled Persons Assembly NZ, where she leads the policy and relationships team.

Patrick Morgan (panel) is an advocate for better transport. He is Project Manager for the Cycling Action Network ( Patrick has written cycling guidebooks and a guide for cycle-friendly employers, led cycle tours and cycle skills training for children and adults. His motto: More people on bikes, more often. twitter: @patrickmorgan

Jo Clendon (panel) - 'The Cycling Mum' - is a member of the Hutt City Council Cycling and Walking Reference Group and initiator of ‘Make it Okay’ campaign to allow children, seniors and disabled people to cycle on the footpath. Jo is the founder of the Bikes Welcome charitable trust (

Michael Lowe is a design professional working across architecture, public space design, and urban design at Studio Pacific Architecture in Wellington. Michael's research interests are in travel behaviour and the built environment, and the methodologies used to research, design, and implement pedestrian infrastructure. . He has a BAS and MArch from Victoria University Wellington.

Jamie Povall is a transportation engineer with MWH Stantec. He has 15 years’ experience practising engineering and is currently the National Design Manager for Transportation Major Projects in NZ. He leads the investigation and design of many civil engineering projects throughout New Zealand which currently includes many walking and cycling improvements.

Sarah Free is a Wellington City Councillor, with an engineering degree and Masters in Public Health. Since her re-election in 2016, she’s been appointed the council’s portfolio leader for public transport and walking and cycling.

Marie Russell is a researcher in the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington. Her PhD research examined how passengers spend their time on public transport. She was a member of the MBIE-funded Resilient Urban Futures project team 2012-2016.

Course cost and registration

$300 early bird, $400 after 21 December 2016.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.

Register now