This is a report from the University of the West of England, commissioned by Living Streets that sets out the arguments and evidence for investment in the walking environment. It identifies the physical and mental health benefits of walking as well as benefits to specific groups such as children and the elderly who tend to be more dependent on their local neighbourhoods. There are benefits to the residents of more walking-friendly neighbourhoods such as social interaction with a reduction in the costs to society as a whole from ill-health and fewer carbon emissions. The report also identifies barriers to increased walkability such as perceptions of safety and also economic benefits which the public and retailers are often willing to pay for.

http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/sites/default/files/content/library/Reports/Making%20the%20Case%20full%20report.pdf

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