Here's a few quick links about walking in the city.
You may have seen a segment on Campbell Live on Monday about the links between urban form and physical activity, based on research into "Activity Friendly Environments" by Dr Grant Schofield at AUT. While people have been researching the links between poor urban design and obesity for some time, it's interesting to see it in a New Zealand context. Not surprisingly, central Wellington was mentioned as a great example (high density, mixed use and a well-connected street grid), whereas Albany was the poster child for pedestrian-hostile sprawl. I haven't been able to find much of his research online, but here are the slides (4.1MB PDF) from his presentation to the 2006 NZ Walking Conference and Study Tour.
Even Wellington could do things better, and while it's generally regarded as a good walking city, there are still a lot of cars getting in the way. Inconsiderate drivers who run red lights (hey, it's only pedestrians) can be particularly frustrating (and potentially lethal), but here's a way to get back at them. Snapt is a form of "name and shame" website, but I think it avoids the pitfalls of dodgier sites like the "CYF watch" blog. Send in your photos of red light runners and other offenders (including pedestrians and cyclists who flout the laws, of course), and it might help relieve some of your frustration. I think you could just set up a continuous webcam at the corner of Willis, Manners and Boulcott St: there's be at least one violation every phase.
Walking around Wellington is generally very safe, but it's understandable to be a bit wary after dark. Living Streets Aotearoa understand this, and they've produced a walking map of Newtown and Berhampore that includes the locations of street lights (758kB PDF). Keeping the streets safe at night uses a lot of energy, but perhaps this post from Treehugger has the answer: a self-powered street light combining solar panels and a vertical-axis wind turbine. Perfect for Wellington, where it's either sunny (like the last few days) or windy (the rest of the year).