02 Jun, 2014 Last updated: 30 Mar, 2015

By Jerril Rechter, VicHealth CEO

Letter to the editor was first published in The Age newspaper on 2 June 2014.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter

Getting cars out of Melbourne's heart so pedestrians reclaim the city streets is a fantastic initiative currently being considered by Melbourne City Council.

In New York, this has already happened. Last week, I visited New York City to learn about their cutting edge approach to active design. To see parts of Times Square totally car-free and plans for expanding these areas was something special.

If the world’s biggest city can create pedestrian-only spaces right at its centre, why can’t we?

One in three Australians are overweight or obese, an 80 per cent increase in 30 years, and the most rapidly increasing rate in the world.

Preventing obesity is complex, but more walkable streets are part of the solution.

With over 350,000 Melbourne CBD workers, providing safer pedestrian areas is critical to help people get more physically active every day.

- Jerril

Visit the Victoria Walks website for more information on pedestrian-friendly initiatives in Victoria.