Research shows that walking as little as 30 minutes a day can reduce some health risks by 40%. Yet there are many apps that help your share your commute or see bus and metro schedules. Some people think walking is boring, others don't want to "waste" time. In other places walking alone is just not safe.
Why not make walking a social activity for groups that already want to meet? Walking often helps get ideas flowing... why not turn "wasted" time into productive time, which also happens to be good for your health?
There are plenty of sports groups, hiking and walking groups or gyms out there that advocate for outdoor activities. But the people going to these are already interested in the physical activity. Why not tackle the groups that are not necessary interested in that activity? The groups that are traditionally less physical? We could instill a culture of "productive walking" in meetups, think tanks, gammers and even among foodies. Restaurants could give discounts or free items to friends that walk to the place instead of drive etc. Innovation and brainstorming groups could propose discussions to be had in duos or trios prior to reaching the meeting place, where they would then share the ideas or stories had or learnt in those 30 minutes. Cities could reinforce and promote the initiative by tracing themed routes through different neighborhoods...
We would need to develop a system to safely track and share these routes. Users should be able to use their smartphone or pedometers (is there a way to make this work with lower-end cell phones?) to map the routs and "prove" that they walked? In the U.S. perhaps this could be done by joining "MapMyRun" and "Belly" together? Could "Waze" work? Google Maps? Or a system of "signing in" to different businesses along your route?
The benefits are not just healthier living, but a system that gets people moving about their own city, discovering new places and possibly contributing to the economy while also encouraging businesses work together while promoting healthy choices producing a safer, more lively city.