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Beyond Vague Promises of Liveability: An Exploration of Walking in Everyday Life

  • Jenni KuoppaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 15)

Abstract

This chapter analyses walking as an everyday practice, which might have potential to improve the quality of life of urban dwellers as is suggested by voluminous policy discussion and scholarly literature in the field of urban planning. It analyses this assumption through exploring the shaping of walking experiences in both the short and the long term by asking: How do the qualities of immediate spatial and temporal experience merge into the everyday life of inhabitants? Do the daily walking habits of urban dwellers have a role in how they believe they can shape their quality of life in the future? The analysis draws upon walking-interview data with inhabitants of two Finnish cities. Interviews illustrated the multiplicity of perceived, qualitative temporalities of walking. We use and manage our walking time to open possibilities for various other experiences. The analysis shows that walking can offer individuals possibilities to enrich their everyday life and their relationships with their environment and enhance their quality of life. However, the general promise that walking enhances the liveability of cities must be put to the test and evaluated in relation to local socio-material conditions and individual spatio-temporal contexts of everyday life.

Keywords

Pedestrians Walking Mobility patterns Everyday life Space-time use Perception Public space 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Land Use Planning and Urban Studies Group, Department of Real Estate, Planning and GeoinformaticsAalto UniversityEspooFinland

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