Introducing our Kingston, Ontario-based Global Correspondent Shauna!
Here at Pedestrian Space we recently launched a 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 grateful to welcome Shauna as a Global Correspondent to our growing network of individuals who are passionate walkability advocates.
I am a mother, part-time MSc student and active community member. When I think back to my years as an undergraduate student, I recall that my most memorable essay was about the built environment and how it affects children’s health. It took me a long time to get to the realization that urban planning was where many of my interests intersected. Nevertheless, I’m glad to have taken a winding path to get where I am today!
I grew up in southwestern Ontario, a close drive (about 45 minutes) by Canadian standards to the great lakes. I now live in the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat which is now known as Kingston, Ontario. The city is Kingston has a rich architectural heritage and is close to beautiful natural areas because of its location on Lake Ontario. Modern expansion of the city through suburbanization has led to unsafe streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and scooters. “Highways” with a posted speed limit of 50 km/hr bisect old downtown neighborhoods. This modern, car-centric design has led to a breakdown in community. Efficiency to get to the downtown by personal vehicle is currently prioritized above safety and health of our marginalized and vulnerable populations.
Walkability ties into many of the values which include sustainability, safe mobility options, climate change mitigation and generally, creating a space that is welcoming and that supports health and well-being. Walkability is also that human aspect and the creation of community, the getting to know your neighbors and showing care for your neighborhood.
My role in this network is to be part of a community by sharing ideas and images but also, I look forward to learning from others. I would like to build on the concept of child-friendly cities and get some momentum towards planning for and with children. I see this as part of a bigger movement and a necessary shift towards sustainable cities.
Based in Kingston, Canada, Shauna is an avid walker and hesitant cyclist with a background in environmental studies and anthropology. Her experience of motherhood in the city changed her career plans to urban policy and design with a focus on safety and the everyday experiences as a pedestrian. She is working towards an MSc in Sustainable Urban Development where she is focusing on child-friendly cities and access to nature.
Read Global Correspondent Shauna’s content here
Learn more about the Global Walkability Correspondents Network here