Pete McMartin: Taking life in stride – In praise of walking

Taking Life in Stride“The best thing is to walk.” — Bruce Chatwin, from Anatomy of Restlessness.

I walk a lot nowadays, though once I could not think of a greater waste of time. It was boring, it seemed … aimless. Jogging, on the other hand, offered a payoff. You ticked off the kilometres and calories. Jogging appealed to the modern work ethic that took its cues from efficiency experts, whose compression of time during our working hours leaked into our leisure ones. Hurry up! Time’s a wastin’! Run!

I still jog but without the conviction I used to. Now when I see those committed runners lost in their earbuds and fervent with exertion, I get the uneasy feeling — one I have recognized in myself — that they hope to outrun death. I have news for them.

Here’s the full Vancouver Sun article by Pete McMartin.

Walk [Your City] : Make directional signage for walking and biking

Walk Your CityRoad signage has traditionally been expensive and car-centered, leaving walkers and bikers by the wayside. Walk [Your City] lets anyone from citizens to corporations quickly and affordably promote healthy lifestyles, public safety, and human-centered transit.

Did you know that 41% of trips taken in a car are less than a 20-minute walk? Installing Walk [Your City] signs in your community reminds folks that “It’s not too far” to walk to interesting, useful destinations. Read more

Parents under investigation after letting kids walk home alone

Kids Walk AloneA Maryland couple is under investigation for child neglect after they let their kids, aged six and 10, walk to and from a local park without parental supervision.

On a Saturday afternoon last December, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv gave their kids Rafi and Dorva permission to walk home alone from a park that was located a mile from their house. While the kids were walking home, someone saw them and alerted the police. The authorities then arrived to escort the kids home and discuss the dangers of the situation with their parents. More from

Will Shoes One Day Generate Renewable Energy?

Will shoes one dayThese insoles would let wearers produce electricity and feed it into the grid.

That’s the idea behind “Step,” a shoe conceived by 22-year-old Vancouver design student Taylor Ward. Inspired by his city’s goal to become the greenest urban area on the planet by 2020, Ward has drafted an ambitious blueprint for kicks that could help support the grid. The key ingredient: newfangled insoles that would produce electricity via tiny piezoelectric generators and capacitors (the same pressure-reliant tech that could let your butt power an office desk).

From John Metcalfe at CityLab

Garden Bridge in London, UK

Garden BridgeLondon’s Garden Bridge will be a stunning new public garden and pedestrian crossing, spanning the River Thames, linking the South Bank to Temple station and beyond.

Designed by Heatherwick Studio and inspired by actress and campaigner, Joanna Lumley, the Bridge will provide a vital new route between north and south London and feature plants, trees, woodland and meandering walkways to be used and enjoyed by all.

The Garden Bridge from TTA Public Relations Ltd on Vimeo.

Are Vancouverites snobs when it comes to walking?

Are Vancouverites SnobsAn article by Emily Jackson at A new city survey might leave you scratching your head and wondering if Vancouverites are transportation snobs who turn their noses up at walking.

The online survey distributed Thursday on Talk Vancouver, a platform launched in 2013 to collect citizen feedback more easily, asks residents for their opinions on walking the city’s streets.

Read the full article at

As Boomers Age, Walkable Cities Become More Important

As Boomers AgeIt’s a charmed feature of family life that the oldest and youngest often find common cause. In league against the conservatism of parents, grandparents and grandkids might push for dessert before dinner or agree on the harmlessness of playing outside in the rain.

It seems that the two cohorts have also found themselves in a natural alliance on urban planning. Both the old and the young, according to surveys, want to live where they can walk, use transit, and enjoy public space.


We want to walk: Report finds strong preference for walkable neighbourhoods

Photograph by NICK PROCAYLOA Vancouver Sun article reports on a new study, led by UBC professor Larry Frank,  focussing on residents of Metro Vancouver. The study has provided more evidence that pedestrian-friendly communities are much healthier than car-dependent ones.

The study found people who live in pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods walk five times a week for transportation compared with one or two times per week for those in auto-oriented neighbourhoods.

Read the Vancouver Sun article

Championing Micro Mobility & Walkable Places