WalkMassachusetts makes walking safer and easier in Massachusetts to encourage better health, a cleaner environment, and more vibrant communities.


A Massachusetts where people walking – no matter their race, identity, age, ability, or lived experience – feel safe, connected, and valued on our streets and sidewalks.


  • Community: We believe in the power of community. Walkable places foster community spirit, vibrancy, and health. Our advocacy is community driven and community empowering.

  • Equity: We embrace an inclusive definition of walkability that accounts for the lived experiences of all people. We prioritize working in places that have experienced historic disinvestment.

  • Partnership: WalkMassachusetts never works alone. We partner with community members, local non-profits, municipal and state agency staff, and elected officials to achieve common goals.

2022 WalkMassachusetts Strategic Plan

Goal 1: Advocate for inclusive, safe and enjoyable places for people to walk.

To achieve this we will:

  • Embrace a more inclusive definition of walkability that accounts for the lived experiences of all people no matter their race, identity, age, or ability.
    • Advocate for related causes that affect walkability and pedestrian safety.
    • Include broad representation of safe walkable environments in all materials.
  • Form authentic, trusting relationships with community groups and BIPOC-led organizations with justice-oriented missions.
    • Find synergies among shared priority issues.
    • Dedicate the time and resources needed to nurture connections.
    • Pursue funding opportunities that benefit partners and WalkMassachusetts alike.
  • Support local partners so that they may identify, lift up, and speak out for needed improvements that promote walkability in their own neighborhoods.
    • Recognize and place value on the expertise of the people we work with.
    • Compensate partners for their time and effort.
    • Create avenues for participation with fewer barriers (e.g., meeting location, language).
  • Diversify our Board, staff, and supporters to reflect the multiple perspectives of walkability and safe, accessible public spaces.
    • Ensure Board recruitment and staff hiring practices are inclusive.
    • Design communication strategies to reach more diverse audiences.
    • Host events and programs that attract more diverse participation.

Goal 2: Work in places where people walking have the greatest need.

To achieve this we will:

  • Focus on neighborhoods designated as environmental justice areas (based on race, income, language) throughout Massachusetts.
    • Prioritize people living in environmental justice areas over those located in more affluent municipalities.
    • Pursue funding opportunities for the benefit of environmental justice populations and others who have experienced historic disinvestment.
  • Identify neighborhoods where traffic violence is prevalent.
    • Use crash data to make the case for change.
  • Recognize areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
    • Recommend strategies to ensure a year-round resilient public realm (e.g., heat mitigation, flooding/puddling reduction, snow removal).
  • Listen to partner organizations and individuals to determine where our help is needed. 
    • Identify priorities in collaboration with community partners.
    • Implement solutions that reflect community input.
  • Build local capacity to sustain pedestrian safety and walkability efforts once our active participation ends.
    • Continue to provide strategic support and engage people about walkability.
    • Foster relationships between community members, municipal staff, and partner organizations.

Goal 3: Achieve policy and built environment change that is noticeable, replicable, and impactful.

To achieve this we will:

  • Address walking issues in rural, suburban, and urban settings with the understanding that solutions will look different in each context.
    • Identify common barriers to pedestrian safety and walkability locally, regionally, and statewide.
    • Use trends analysis, best practices, and evidence-based research to develop solutions.
  • Advocate for policy and legislative change that improves walkability, supports mode shift, and addresses pedestrian safety concerns. 
    • Continue fighting for policies and funding that promote complete streets, access to transit, speed management, and rural walking safety.
    • Support legislation that promotes safer, people-centered streets for everyone no matter their race, identity, age, ability, or lived experience.
  • Work in coalition with other groups to amplify our collective voice.
    • Grow the WalkMassachusetts Network to include more local organizations, community groups, residents, municipal staff, and committees.
    • Form additional partnerships with groups and organizations working in related fields (i.e. housing, climate, crisis resilience, etc.).
  • Create programs and materials that are effective, consistent with best practices, and replicable.
    • Develop training materials for others to use for independent walking advocacy efforts. 
    • Expand our archive of online resources to include walk audit tutorials and other issue-based guidance or curricula.
  • Evaluate our work to achieve better results.
    • Document and collect data on all projects and programs.
    • Survey participants and community members.
    • Follow up on project outcomes and analyze trends over time.
    • Adapt our approach, programs, and guidance to reflect findings.


WalkMassachusetts has achieved much in our 30+ years of service. Founded in 1990 as WalkBoston,  we have created walks, maps and publications, passed legislation, helped write pedestrian design manuals, led the nation’s first Safe Routes to School program, promoted healthy living campaigns and publicized the economic value of good walking environments for business success. After over 30 years of statewide advocacy as WalkBoston, conversations with partners and community members across the state, and a new Strategic Plan, we changed our name to WalkMassachusetts. Learn why.

Golden Shoe Awards

WalkMassachusetts presents the Golden Shoe Awards at our annual meeting each March to celebrate and reward those who have bettered the walking environment and who exemplify the ideals that guide WalkMassachusetts. Golden Shoes are awarded to individuals, agencies, municipalities and companies.

Annual Reports & Annual Celebration

WalkMassachusetts publishes an annual report that highlights our key achievements and committee activities, celebrates our golden shoe winners, and thanks our foundation, corporate and individual supporters. The reports are issued at our annual celebration each year, typically held in March. See recent reports & Annual Celebration recordings/recaps.