Left, right, left, right – what is the politics of urban walking?


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Left, right, left, right - what is the politics of urban walking?

Posted 26 August 2009 09:10 by martin


Are the users of walkit.com predominantly a bunch of Guardian-reading liberal lefties?  Or perhaps they're Mail-reading neocons?

We could hazard a guess, but maybe unwise to jump to conclusions.  The beauty of urban walking is that nearly all of us do it – but we don't all drive, we don't all take the bus or train, we don't all bike, and we don't all fly.

Even for the most confirmed car driver “walking isn't a lost art: one must, by some means, get to the garage” (thanks to Evan Esar).

Does walking in any way define your politics, or politics define your walking?

I walk therefore I vote Labour?  Or I vote Liberal Democrat therefore I walk?  (Or I bike therefore I vote Tory?)

OK, not quite as simple as that.  And anyway, we hope there's a broad political church of walkit.com users.

Of course the promotion of walking (and any whiff of concomitant constraints being put on other road users) can be intensely political.  But how party political is it?

Has 12 years of Labour been good news for urban walkers?  Two years of the SNP been good for Scottish walkers?  Does Boris's first year look promising compared to Ken's eight year reign?

If you've got a good walking environment in your town or city, it can often be a proxy for somewhere that is safe, neighbourly, vibrant, clean, green, prosperous and healthy.

Who's good at delivering on that agenda?

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  1. Elisa kubelo says:

    September 23rd, 2009 at 2:54 pm (#)

    I just started to ride my bike to work and I certainly don't vote Tory, i'd rather put myself under a bus first.
    Rant over.


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