Nick Tyler is Chadwick Chair of Civil Engineering at University College London and is the director of PAMELA one of the largest research laboratories in the country. However, as we learn from this softly-spoken professor it is not large enough, so he is now overseeing the building of a laboratory called PEARL in Dagenham (see image below). What has all this got to do with walking you ask? As Andrew Stuck learned in this conversation recorded before the pandemic, Nick is as interested in the fine grain detail of pedestrian behaviour as he is in engineering spaces that work for people. We also get an inkling of how the 2 metre social distance might have been decided upon, once the COVID virus had struck. 29’44″ 13.9MB
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Featured image: Nick Tyler taking part in a walkshop commissioned by the Parasol Unit, London – taken by Simon Waters
Jack Cornish is a programme manager for the “Don’t Lose Your Way” campaign at Ramblers, the UK charity promoting walking and defending rights of way. That’s the ‘day job’, but there is much more walking in Jack than just from 9 to 5. He has walked the entire length of the British Isles and is walking every street in London. The interview opens with Andrew Stuck asking Jack what “Don’t Lose Your Way” is all about and what his role entails. 22’06″ 10.4MBY
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Riccardo Marini’s accent belies his Italian upbringing. When Andrew Stuck met him a dozen years ago, he was Design Lead for the City of Edinburgh and Andrew was a researcher for the Academy of Urbanism. Since then, working first as a director forJan Gehl Architects and now as founder of Marini Urbanismo, he has worked with cities to make their commercial cores more people-friendly. They are in London’s West End, in the midst of the mid-morning hubbub on a chilly December day, so Ricardo’s cogent, forceful and passionate argument for putting pedestrians first is even more pertinent. 24’16” 11.4MB
Andrew Stuck was attending the Made of Walking gathering of artists at La Romieu in remote south west France, when Andrew was surprised to meet American walking activist Wendy Landman, an executive director of WalkBoston, one of America’s longest running pedestrian advocacy groups. She is here, on an invitation from her college friend and artist Carol Mencke.
WalkBoston walk audit in action in the snow
Wendy discovers that the walking artists at Made of Walking are grappling with many of the issues that Walk Boston has encountered too. In the blazing sun, they walk along gravel paths, seeking shade, and discuss how walking and pleasurable walkable places are now seen as key elements of quality of life for increasing numbers of Americans. And how through subtle change in vocabulary, from talking about art to talking about delight – the delight of walking and of delightful places – hearts and minds of politicians can be won over to the cause of better conditions for those of us who travel on foot. 25’21” 11.9MB
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Martin Foessleitner is an Information Designer living in Vienna. As he undertakes all his daily errands on foot, he knows his neighbourhood intimately. However, Vienna isn’t just for residents, it attracts day trippers and is an international tourist destination. Andrew Stuck walked with Martin through the centre of the city on a sunny October day as he explained to me how he came to design the city’s way marking system and how when providing information to those on foot, less is more.
Recorded in October 2015 on a walk through Vienna in Austria. Published in June 2016 26’45” 12.5MB
“Universal design in a new attitude: understood as a right on privacy, access to public spaces and participation in social life for everyone in any situation, a basic design principle assisted by invisible serving technology, we are fascinated by combining analog maps with augmented reality functions.”
Austria is the first country in Europe, if not in the world, to have a National masterplan strategy to promote walking. This has come about in a remarkably short time. It is a little over 8 years since Vienna resident Dieter Schwab formed the Austrian Pedestrian Organisation, to rally supporters in every echelon of government, to plan how they could put the pedestrian first in their strategic plans and policies.
Speaking to Andrew Stuck during the 2015 Walk21 conference, from the Rathuas in Vienna, Dieter begins the interview by explaining just how rewarding living in an inner city walkable neighbourhood can be. 10.1MB 21’48”
What do we mean by walkability? What makes a neighbourhood walkable and why does it matter? These are questions put to Tim Pharoah, a transport researcher who has been championing mobility on foot for more than 40 years. Recorded on a walk through the streets between Waterloo and London Bridge railway stations, part of London where Tim once lived.
Bankside, The Cut and Waterloo Quarter, as this part of London in 2015 is now known, is a hive of construction and a tourist attraction to boot. Few places offer quiet with Red Cross Gardens as a welcome exception. The recording opens with Tim telling us about his chief concern of traffic speed and how to calm it. 28’53” 13.5MB
Sara Wookey is a creative dancer and choreographer, who when based in Los Angeles works as a movement consultant to Metro Transit the underground public transport system, winning over discretionary metro riders to experience the city on public transport beside discovering life on foot. Walking in LA was the means by which Sara discovered the city when she moved there in 2006. Being a pedestrian in LA is not something that many aspire to, walking in the city, or riding public transit is for those who can’t afford a car. Sara’s work as a movement consultant has also taken her indoors to museums and galleries, where she works with museum visitors to explore collections in a more playful way, and out and about in neighbourhoods working alongside urban planners. 24’09” 11.3MB
In summer 2014, Sara was performing at the Raven Row Gallery, in London, in a historic dance piece devised by Yvonne Rainer in 1966, likened to being a pedestrian as the performance links day to day movements.
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How long does it take to walk from here to there? is a fairly straightforward question that crops up often enough. Providing duration times of journeys on foot, was the common sense answer that came to urban planning student and would-be pedestrian activist, Matt Tomasulo, from Raleigh, North Carolina in the southern United States. His answer to this common question was to devise a set of signs that not only gave direction but duration for journeys on foot, and set about putting them up around Raleigh. What if these guerilla signs could be made available to anyone, anywhere? What if anyone could make some of their own?
Using Kickstarter, the crowd funding website to raise funds and spread the word, Matt created the web-based Walk [Your City] app. We in the UK maybe more reticent about putting up signs around our towns, but it appears less so in north America, with not only citizens but towns and city leaders making signs of their own, to Walk their City. The interview, recorded over the Internet, opens with Matt explaining what is Walk [Your City]. 25’46” 12.1MB
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An interview with Professor Jody Rosenblatt Naderi, Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department, at Ball State University, in Indiana in the USA. The interview begins with Jody talking about her research into street trees and their effect on driver and pedestrian behaviour. We discuss how cities can be judged on how civilised they are by the quality of the walking environment they offer and ends with a discussion of Jody’s research into the Philosopher’s walk. As this interview was recorded over a poor connection via the Internet, in parts it is difficult to make out some of Jody’s comments, so we have provided a Transcript 35’02” 16.4MB
Tim Stonor is the Managing Director of Space Syntax Limited, a firm of architects and planners that are specialists in the scientific analysis of pedestrian behaviour. Their work looks at movement at every scale of the city, forecasting where people will walk, cycle, drive or be driven, should a change in the street pattern or built environment be altered. They have had a hand in the redevelopment of public realm in many traditional cities, not least in London’s prime public squares, but they have also developed forecasting techniques to predict movement patterns in future cities.
The discussion ranges widely, considering how we get around now and how digital technologies will alter the way we will navigate the cities of the future. The interview was recorded in St Andrew’s Gardens in Bloomsbury, just a short walk from Space Syntax’s offices, in June 2013. 24’33” 11.5MB
Download notes of items mentioned in this interview: Tim_Stonor
Richard Holden, a planner with Bristol City Council and George Ferguson CBE, an architect in the Bristol practice of Ferguson MannArchitects (before he was Mayor of Bristol), join Andrew Stuck for a walk along the Brunel Mile in Bristol. Recorded on a blustery September day in 2008. 19’05” 8.9 MB
There are notes of items mentioned in this episode that you can download – simply click here: Brunel Mile