Why walking? – the main intent behind starting this blog was to focus on the importance of walking as one of the main modes of transportation – or what some may refer to, the vintage mode of transportation. I can attest to the fact that walking in many ways provides numerous benefits, starting with my early days as a free-range child living in a walkable Easter European city.
Since my childhood days in Goražde, Bosnia and Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia), walking gave me independence as I walked to school or to a friend’s house; it taught me the rules of the road; walking also took me to new and interesting places in my hometown, from the town center and nearby kiosk where I purchased candy and comics to the secret spot along the Drina River where I hung out with my friends and talked about boys.
In the evenings, walking was what young and older adults did. A tradition called "korzo" (stemming from ital. corso; bosn. korzo ili glavno gradsko šetalište), it was the main place "to see and be seen". Korzo typically took place on the main street in the urban town center where one could see young lovers strolling hand in hand or a group of friends enjoying each other’s company. That was considered a night out on the town. Unfortunately, as with many traditions that the civil war in the 90s took away, this tradition is also starting to fade out from many towns.
It wasn’t until recently, that I realized walking provided me with many other benefits at the time. Walking was keeping me physically active and healthy; it made my city safe and free of crime, it made it easier for people who bike to maneuver through the city; and it made the local businesses in my hometown prosper (you would see no such thing as parking ramps and surface lots in this compact town of 35,000).
After moving to the United States, I realized that a very small percentage of kids here walk or bike to school. They are driven around from one activity to another and never get to experience the freedom and happiness of holding hands with your best friend as you walk together to school or even instead of having after school activities organized for you, all you have to do is just grab a group of friends and go explore the city and discover new places and memories that you will forever cherish and remember.
I hope to bring more focus to walking in my future posts, but to start out, I wanted to share this infographic by CustomMade that perfectly describes some of the major benefits of walking.
Full time Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation Planner. Part time urbanista dreamer & traveler residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.