Walkways are defined as paths demarcated for exclusive use of pedestrians. Walkways are constructed on the sides of the road to isolate the movement of pedestrians from the vehicle traffic. In residential construction, walkways are made in the compound especially in gardens for the movement of residents and for the aesthetic purpose.
Paved walkways will serve the purpose better than unpaved walkways and therefore walkways are paved in almost all conditions. Concrete is mostly used for paving the walkways. If walkways are covered with concrete, the water falling over the walkway would run off without seeping into the soil. As groundwater is a source of drinking water for many people, the concreted surfaces are against the ecosystem. As a solution to this, concrete tiles were introduced for paving works. When concrete tiles are laid, sufficient spacing is made in between to allow the water to seep into ground. Still this type of walkways cannot be considered as eco friendly as production of concrete tiles takes a lot of energy and also the concrete products generates a large amount of heat into atmosphere.
Now engineers and designers are going for eco friendly options which are economical too. Some of the eco friendly materials which can be used for paving walkways are:-
1) Clay tiles
2) River pebbles
3) Stone blocks
4) Wooden planks
The latest trend is to do the paving by laying tiles and sod (turf) alternately. See the image below.
Besides paving, walkways can be made eco-friendly by providing a green roof which is a combination of arches where vegetations or flowers are made to grow. These types of arches are made with wooden frames.
Another method is to energize walkways from natural sources by providing solar lights.
Above all, the most effective method is to minimize the area of walkways and increase the area of garden. The length of walkways can be minimized by proper selection of the alignment.