Importance of walking to improve environment in cities
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Radio talk show on Walking for health and Environment on-aired 6 March 2016 at the government owned radio channel Bangladesh Betar. This talk shows are fortnightly program titled Bigyan o Poribesh (Science and Environment), hosted (moderator and script writer) by Aminul Islam Sujon.
Being as moderator, I’ve provided background importance of walking. In particular, most of people travel by walking at urban life. There is strong connection between travel by walking and environment. As much people walk, reduce using of motorized vehicles. If motorize vehicles reduce in cities, that will reduce several types of pollution; including noise and air. Worldwide, Dhaka is known as polluted city, air and sound pollution are unbearable. To reduce these types of pollution, environmentalist urged to promote non-motorized travel including cycling, walking. Worldwide, all modern cities established walking friendly environment. To consider above, this talk show titled as ‘importance of walking to improve environment in cities’.
I asked first question to Mr. Maruf Rahman, Program Manager of the Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust, who works quite a long to improve walking and environment of cities in Bangladesh. The question I asked him that what is the condition of walking in Dhaka and why walking is important for cities. He told about the current scenario of walking condition of Dhaka and how walking can improve health, environment and human life.
Then I asked question to eminent environmentalist Mr. Abu Naser Khan, who is founder of environmental movement in Bangladesh and chairman of Poribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA- Save the Environment Movement). The question I asked him that how to improve walking condition to encourage more people to walk and what is the role of local government bodies (such as city corporation, pouroshova etc.).
Mr. Abu Naser Khan emphasized to develop all policies to focus human development not motorized transport. Unfortunately Dhaka is focusing private car oriented policy, less than 5% people use it. Most of people are not benefitted from such policy. He also provided effective recommendation for the government, in particular ministry of local government and their local bodies (such as city corporation, pouroshova etc.), city development authority and as whole national government to make sure national policy.
Again, as moderator, I’ve concluded radio talk show with brief summary of the discussions. Since we started to walk and till we would able to walk at old age that also mean hour healthy life. People wants to walk; that is why walking environment is important. We city authority ensure walking friendly environment that can encourage 75% (around 12 million) people to travel to their destination, because this distance are within 5 kilometers, even half of them within 2 kilometers. Dhaka is most dense city in world and most of destination is within walking distance. If authorities would ensure wide and plain footpath and zebra crossing and signal light for road crossings, that will encourage more people to walk.
Photo is used from an event related to walking environment.

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