Publish at August 17 2012 Updated October 06 2022

Close to you is the environment: how walkable is your neighborhood?

Walking in the immediate environment as an action to reappropriate one's territory

The simplest activity to apprehend your environment is to walk somewhere from where you are. No internet, no car.

  • Concretely outside we feel what our environment consists of. Are there birds and insects, maybe even squirrels in addition to dogs and cats? Trees, plants and flowers? A stream and a pond?

  • What smells reach our nostrils? How many stars do we see at night? And then are there children? A vacant lot, a garden or a park? Neighbors and shopkeepers who recognize us? Meeting places?

  • On the other hand, are there surveillance cameras, guards and fences? Power lines and no-go zones? How much noise, dust, publicity is there? How far can I go without risking being hit?

In some suburban neighborhoods, there is a lot of nature but few places to walk to, not even schools or local businesses.  School buses crisscross them in every direction. These neighborhoods are labeled "Car-dependent" on "Walkscore." 

But if we live in a more urban neighborhood, we can do almost everything safely on foot, hence the environmental policy of densifying land and renaturalizing nearby urban environments. But of this policy, few want it in the suburbs if they lose their big land.

Humans conjure up what they prefer in their environment.   In the suburbs, they love space. So much so that it takes a car to get around! Unless they don't like the countryside and the wild forest, nor the neighborhood and everything else is indifferent to them. Since they can't get anywhere useful on foot, they only get around by car... in the end they don't live in the territory, they just cross it like an obstacle.

Walking is definitely a good way to assess the quality of one's environment...

  • Determine the walkability of your environment on Walk Score
    Just enter your address and you'll see everything that's accessible nearby.

And then some walking activities


Photo: Street Life on Foter, by Zaqi

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