Weekly Walk Around the News 11/16/2012


Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of November 16, 2012.


Posted by Kerry Dirk

November 16, 2012



In a brief seven minute video, Placemaking, Filmmaker and Seattle Resident Eric Becker considers the forthcoming transformation of the South Lake Union neighborhood. Multiple people, including architects, writers, and urban planners, share their thoughts on the importance of place making and how design affects the way that people use spaces.  As Architect and Developer Shanon Leow notes, Interactions are ultimately what drive cities, so creating excuses for people to have interactions is fundamental to what makes a good neighborhood.


A Seattle writer reviews a recent City Club panel called The making of a Neighborhood, which was taped by the Seattle Channel and can be found here starting at the 15 minute mark). In particular, the panel shared what they believe to be major policy issues or initiatives that impact neighborhoods, which include the following: levy burdens, policing, the Shoreline review, transportation, charter schools, district elections, and preparedness.

Three people, including a four-year-old boy, were hit by a Toyota Prius in the University District on Wednesday. All three people are in stable condition.



A webinar, entitled Bold New Steps: Data and Resources to Propel Local Walking Programs and Solutions,” will take place on Thursday, November 29 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm PST.  Three presenters will focus on trends in walking, resources to support citizens and planners in improving walking, and an overview of services provided by America Walks.

Walkability may benefit disaster relief by providing escape routes, access to food, and mobility for emergency crews. WalkScore identifies five particular benefits of walkable neighborhoods after disasters, including, for example, that bikes can aid people when other transportation options fail.

An article argues that pedestrian cities have become wilderness due to abandonment of public streets for other modes of transportation besides walking. In many places, remains of former walkable areas and sidewalks can be found, the author notes, but these areas are now either overgrown or lacking in safety. 

A look at East Harlem’s green resources found that many are being under-used. A nonprofit group, New Yorkers for Parks, released the results of a study that found East Harlem has the potential to be much healthier and greener. Pedestrian-unfriendly streets are one of the current barriers preventing people from visiting the green areas that do exist.  This article, which highlights other neighborhoods around New York City, shows the importance of walkability to help everyone have access to green space.



Although some people may argue that walking is challenging enough, others, including a 36-year-old Chinese man, have chosen to make walking even more ambitious by doing it with his hands. Huang Zhongyu, who has been walking upside down 6 hours a day for the past three years, including up and down stairs, will soon attempt to win a Gunness Wold Records. 

Other walking records might also soon be beaten. Seven primary schools, a secondary school, and two playgroups in Newmarket formed a human walking bus comprised of 1,904 walkers to raise money for BBC Children in Need. They are waiting to see whether they broke the current record.



If you come across any interesting pedestrian news or stories, please send a link to info@feetfirst.org.

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