The way we walk is something we learn growing up as children; and our adult ways of bodily movement continue to be socio-culturally distinct and gender specific. By 2050, 65-70% of the world’s population will be living in urban environments, which means that moving with one another takes on new shapes in today’s culturally-blurred urban spaces.
My interest lies with how, as humans, we sensorially respond not only to the organisation of physical space through architecture, but more importantly to the diversity of people moving within it. Walking remains our main movement in urban settings, and urban planners are designing cities around urban nodes with a 20-minute walking radius.
My current research is on walking as a creative act that triggers innovative thinking, and the impact of this on the way we design for our future cities. The secret power of walking is that walking and moving with new forms of urban cultural togetherness around us stimulates new forms of social interaction and cohesion. The health benefits of ‘Shinrin-Yoku’, of walking or ‘bathing in the forest’ are becoming widely appreciated, and the interplay between urban and forest walking will define futures’ urban planning.