I remember speaking with someone about various issues of walkability and after a good chunk of time discussing GWCN: Global Walkability Correspondents Network, advocacy and more, they asked me, so what is your intervention?
I notice that people either ‘get’ what I am doing at Pedestrian Space readily, or they simply don’t.
Media advocacy plays an important contemporary role in diverse paradigm shifts and it’s peculiar to me when people assume that to have an ‘intervention’, one needs to be out there physically reshaping space and cities.
‘Real change’ isn’t only limited to changes in physical space. The psychology behind our mobility decisions and approach to space is just as critical. All interrelated.
And yes, walking is one of my interventions. For many years, including when it was often extremely inconvenient.
I believe we need to spotlight this more. Celebrate those who are demonstrating another way to the local mainstream, in for example walking their kids to school when the vast majority are driven in certain communities. Celebrate those who are cycling, walking and using PT when space and infrastructure for these modes might be particularly sub-par in their communities. Consistently remind that not everyone can or wants to own and operate a vehicle.
Indeed, even in bustling urban environments like where I currently live, there are a wealth of PT options as well as possibilities to walk all over, but one could also easily revert to driving (as many do) or agreeing to be a captive passenger (which I am indeed occasionally).
In a world where car dominace persists in so many communities, walking as a daily mode choice is an intervention.
-Annika, Founder at Pedestrian Space