The Walkability Institute (Instituto Caminhabilidade) is a non-profit organization led by women and founded in 2012 that, driven by the urgency of achieving gender equality and addressing the climate crisis, develops walkable cities with citizen participation.


It does this through two lines of action, promoting the culture of walking and humanizing cities, integrating five action areas:

Formation and information
Research and consultancy
Networks and events
Urban Projects
Advocacy and partnerships

What is our vision for cities?

What is our vision as an institute?

Cities where people and walking are a priority, so that walking is the best option to move around.

We want walkable cities!

Walkability creates fair environments, where differences in the quality of life are minimal, by ensuring access, collaboration, sustainability, safety, inclusivity, health, and dynamism for all people – regardless of age, gender, race, income, creed, origin, and physical, mental, and emotional conditions.

As an organization, we aim to guide the development of cities through walkability and become a reference for the transformation of cities into fairer environments, with optimism for the future and ability to act in the present.

We want to always be an innovative organization, willing to amplify knowledge and interdisciplinarity with issues essential for a just and sustainable development.

ensures walking and being in all the city, so everyone can benefit of their own rights.
encourages all people to participate and work together in the construction and transformation of the cities, being protagonists and co-authors of the urban development.
addresses the climate crisis by promoting walkability and the creation of urban spaces that respect the environment and community development, with the capacity to adapt to crises and events without making people vulnerable.
preserves the life, freedom and autonomy of everyone to walk and be in public spaces in the city safely, pleasantly, and comfortably at any time of the day – especially women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
ensures representation in public spaces and invites all people to express themselves and develop through exchanges and interactions with the environment and others.
contributes to physical and mental health, both individually and collectively, by promoting urban environments that encourage active and social interactions in public spaces.
drives innovation and flexibility in environments and ways of collaborating and city-making to create a sense of belonging, fun, and coexistence for all people.

To promote the transformation and co-construction of walkable urban environments at various scales, especially in marginalized territories, collaboratively and prioritizing vulnerable populations;

To create pathways for participation and dialogue between civil society and the public and private sectors to propose transformative solutions;

To drive and expand networks, bringing together more people and perspectives;

We aim to break paradigms, operate transparently and openly, and be accessible to all people.


Since 2012, we have been working on transforming cities into walkable environments alongside people at all scales: street, neighborhood, and city. We began as a group of people leading walking tours in São Paulo as a way to improve people’s relationship with the city.

Soon, realizing that walking is the most used mode of transportation and understanding all its benefits, we decided to be advocate for safe and attractive cities for walking. With that, we began to work with the concept of walkability and engage the public sector to promote changes to build more walkable cities. The biggest success story was the achievement of “Paulista Aberta” in 2015, after over a year of mobilization with other organizations.

In 2015, we began to establish international connections, joined the International Federation of Pedestrians, co-created the Latin American Network for Walkable Cities, and participated in events like Walk21, Congresso Peatonal, NACTO conference, Placemaking Latinoamérica, Conference of Women in Mobility Worldwide, and COP 26, the UN Climate Conference.

In 2017, we organized the first edition of the Walk Week. Other important projects included “Sentindo nos Pés” (Feeling in the Feet), legibility and signage maps “Bixiga a Pé!”, “Passeia, Jardim Nakamura” (Stroll, Jardim Nakamura), and “Mapas Vá a Pé” (Walk Maps), as well as tactical urbanism initiatives.

It was also in 2017 that we formalized ourselves as a Civil Society Organization (CSO) to expand our activities and impacts, not limiting our work to São Paulo but rather developing projects and methodologies that can be replicated in various cities and with different audiences, such as the Citizen Walkability Index and the projects Women Walkers and Afro-Feminine Walking.

In 2021, we created the Walkable City Award, recognizing government projects that improve walkability in cities. In 2022, we co-founded the Rio Pinheiros Laboratory.


Start with walking tours
Relationship with cycling activism


Public space occupations
Participation in the Transportation Council


Advocacy for Paulista Aberta


Collaboration with Walkable Urbanism in Jundiaí
Inauguration of Paulista Aberta
Development of the participatory Mobility Workshops chapter in São Paulo's PlanMob
First participation in Walk21 Vienna
Co-organization of the International Walking Cities Seminar


Advocacy for Open Streets Decree
Advocacy classes and the start of walkability training


Lançamento do Prêmio Cidade Caminhável
Caminhar Afro-Feminino
Laboratório Rio Pinheiros


Formalization as a Civil Society Organization (OSC)
First Walk Week
Bixiga a Pé Map
First season of "Sentindo nos Pés" (Feeling in the Feet)
Women Walkers - walkability and gender


Active Mobility in Elections
Second season of "Sentindo nos Pés"
Women Mobilize Women in Leipzig
Legibility System in Jardim Nakamura


Participation in the NACTO Conference in Toronto
Walkability and Gender Index in Curitiba
Finalists in UNICEF's Child Friendly Cities Initiative


Launch of the Walkable City Award
Afro-Feminine Walking
Rio Pinheiros Laboratory


10 years of the Walkability Institute
Walking Together Project

Alguns números

years working for walkable cities
of trips in Brazilian cities are made exclusively on foot (source: 2018, ANTP)
Brazilian cities reached with our projects

Who we are

Leticia Sabino

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Project Coordinator

Founder of the Walkability Institute. From São Paulo, Maestra in City Planning and Urban Design from UCL (University College London) in London - Chevening scholar. Business administrator from FGV - EAESP, postgraduate in Creative Economy and Creative Cities from FGV.

Gabriela Massuda

Project Analyst

Joined the Walkability Institute in 2023. From São Paulo, master in Transportation and Sustainable Development from École des Ponts ParisTech in France - Renault Foundation Scholar. Architect and Urbanist from the University of São Paulo (FAU-USP).

Carolina Fortes

Communications Analyst

Joined the Walkability Institute in 2022. From Porto Alegre, she is journalist graduated from PUC Rio Grande do Sul and ongoing undergrad in Literature at FFLCH-USP.

Mariana Demuth

Graphic Designer Analyst

Joined the Walkability Institute in 2022. From São Paulo, masters in Design from the University of São Paulo (FAU-USP) and architect and urban planner from the same university.


Ana Paula Jodas | Gabriel Gonçalves | Giuliana Chazanas | Júlia Theodósio | Mayni Gonçalves | Nara Marinho | Natália Costa | Natasha Vaz | Nicholas Casagrande | Samantha Gaspar

Participation in international events

2015 – Walk21 – Vienna
2016 – Congreso Peatonal – Cidade do México
2017 – Placemaking Latinoamerica – Valparaíso
2017 – Congreso de Peatones – Medellín
2018 – Women Mobilize Women – Leipizig
2018 – Walk21 – Bogotá
2018 – Velocity – Rio de Janeiro
2019 – Liderazgo Femenino Urbano BID – Washington D.C.
2019 – Cities Design NACTO – Toronto
2019 – Walk 21 – Rotterdam
2015 – Cidades a Pé – São Paulo
2020 – Foro Peatonal Online – México
2020 – Cidade que Abraça – Lisboa
2020 – Fórum de Intervenções Urbanas – Lima
2021 – Seminario de Movilidad e Género – Buenos Aires
2021 – Conferência do Clima da ONU COP26 – Glasgow
2021/2022 – Connected Smart Cities – São Paulo
2022 – Walk21 – Dublin
2022 – O cenário da pandemia pode gerar cidades caminháveis? – Londres


Finalist Creative Bureaucracy Festival (with Afro-Feminine Walking) - Germany
Finalist Child Friendly Cities Award (with Paulista Aberta)
Finalist Premia Sampa (with Sentindo nos Pés)
Finalist Sinal Livre de Mobilidade Urbana Award
Santander Creative Economy Award - Leticia Leda Sabino
Talk to us