Planning & Investment Knowledge Base

Model Walking and Cycling Communities



The following criteria sets out the expectation of model walking/cycling communities to maximise the efficiency of NZTA investment.


Planning and investment paradigm

Model walking/cycling communities are urban environments where walking and cycling is offered to the community as the easiest transport choice Transport choice means making available to transport users, particularly those with limited access to a car or who are vulnerable to changes in fuel prices, alternative means of transport. . By promoting model communities the NZTA encourages a different planning and investment paradigm by using walking and cycling as the focus for transport integration and network optimisation See Optimise levels of service, Optimised transport solution and Optimising public transport services and infrastructure. Network optimisation considers any changing transport demand, all network components including the contribution across modes and existing infrastructure and services. It aims to make better use of existing networks and services towards a outcome or impact and may require relatively small improvements to achieve this. .


The success of model communities will require consistency and successful integration with other strategies, policies, programmes and activities, including land use, maintenance, other capital works, parking, vehicle access and transport user hierarchy.


In addition, the NZTA would like to see approved organisations that coordinate investment from other sources. Model communities must facilitate regional partnerships and dialogue with their community stakeholders, health, housing, environment and recreation. There are likely to be opportunities to leverage investment in model communities against other sources. Locations that demonstrate strong community support and leveraging opportunities are more likely to be considered as a model community.


Criteria for model walking/cycling communities

Model community locations should provide evidence that a range of community destinations (business, schools, retail) are within ‘easy’ riding or walking distance from large residential population centres. The proximity of destinations, the compactness of underlying urban form, and the mix of land-uses are all important pre-requisites. Climate, topography and demographic factors must also be considered.


Communities need to demonstrate strong leadership support for delivering, and commitment to improved walking and cycling environments; this will be reflected in their Regional Land Transport Strategy and local strategies and plans.


Model Community environments should ultimately meet the following criteria:

  • Use walking and cycling as an intervention to integrate transport and land use,
  • Approved organisation, and community leadership commitment to deliver ramped up investment, planning and policy,
  • Consistency and integration across the approved organisation’s policies and actions,
  • Build upon critical mass of walking and cycling numbers, strategies and activities within approved organisation’s existing plans, policies and programmes,
  • Have support from packaging and prioritisation across the approved organisation’s NLTP A National Land Transport Programme Interrelated and complementary combination of activities that, when delivered in a coordinated manner, produce synergies – can span more than one work category and more than one activity class, e.g. a programme could include a road improvement and public transport improvement activities. adopted by the NZTA under section 19 of the LTMA, as from time to time amended or varied and non-transport activities, and
  • Commit to monitoring implementation and effectiveness.



The NZTA expects that approved organisations will be able to demonstrate the impacts of the concentrated model community investment. Key measures to monitor success should include the introduction or extension of a total traffic counting programme, focusing on picking up all of the active travel trips (mode share) that are generated by the scheme. In addition, safety, and other secondary indicators for economic, social and environmental improvements, should also be assessed.


Nomination as a model community

There is not a formal selection process for model walking/cycling communities. Communities should be demonstrating their adherence to the principles of model communities before they will be considered for investment priority.


The selection of model communities is at the discretion of the NZTA Board The NZ Transport Agency Board. , and will be limited in number to maintain concentrated investment.


Last Updated: 21/02/2017 4:49pm