Introducing Global Correspondent Ann!
In January 2022 we launched the Global Walkability Correspondents Network, as a way to build solidarity among walkability advocates around the world and continue to create media on sustainable mobility and urbanism.
We are happy to welcome Ann as Global Correspondent to our growing network of individuals who are passionate walkability advocates.
I am a globalist interested in improving well-being for people and the planet. I’m an independent consultant with twenty years of experience and today I find my interests focused on actions that improve both human conditions as well as the environment. Two stand out: Walkability (and accessible mobility overall) and Green Space (especially ecological restoration and native plants).
As a consultant, I offer a mix of services focused on program design and implementation. Learn more at BeKindreDesign.com
I am originally from Saginaw, Michigan USA where I grew up in a walkable neighborhood near the downtown. Walking was the daily way to get around supplemented by bike, bus, and private car. I grew-up in a 15-min neighborhood. For college, I attended Kalamazoo College – a small liberal arts school with a delightfully walkable campus.
During college, I studied in Bogotá, Colombia, volunteered in El Paso, TX, and lived in Pacayas, Costa Rica to complete my undergraduate research thesis. In the U.S., I have also lived in Seattle WA, Detroit MI, Miami FL, Boulder CO, Silver Spring & Bethesda MD, and Washington DC.
Internationally, I have also lived in Bologna, Italy; Warsaw, Poland; London, England; Budapest, Hungary and have worked and walked in other cities and countries.
I currently live in Royal Oak, Michigan, which is metro-Detroit USA. I will provide insights from here as well as other locations when I travel.
Walkability, including wheelchair use, is at the core of accessibility and mobility choices. Having lived and worked in a wide variety of places and considering the world we are in today, walkability is an essential component of healthy, sustainable communities where well-being and quality of life are high.
Walking helps humans, and walkable communities contribute to the well-being of the planet by being more compact, less polluting, etc. People are in a better mood and state of mind when they are walking. In communities where people can easily walk, supplemented by biking and transit, to various destinations easily, they are visibly happier and healthier.
I am motivated to participate in this network to learn and share with others who are advocating for and supporting better conditions for walking. As a globalist, I am especially interested in the relationship between best practices wherever they are and how to implement them locally. Every place has different challenges and different successes and there is a lot to be learned from the global experience.
Walking and safe spaces to walk and roll are something that should be expected in all places. If a community is not safe for someone to walk to visit nearby friends – no matter their age and ability, the community is not supporting people’s well-being. I am as interested in the cultural and social norms and practices that influence whether or not people decide to or feel comfortable walking. In many places, it might be a few adjustments to make things better and in others there are already good examples. I plan to share observations when out walking as well as reflect on lessons learned.
Ann E. Bueche is a globalist interested in increasing the well-being of people and the planet. Ann brings experience and insights living and working in many communities around the world. She provides consulting services in program design and advocates for more sustainable and inclusive policies and practices.
Read Global Correspondent Ann’s content here
Learn more about the Global Walkability Correspondents Network here