Walking the world’s megacities

The Guardian have a started weekly series on walking in the city. The first instalment was Tokyo. The second is an audio slideshow of New York. As I’ve just finished Rebecca Solnit’s classic Wanderlust: A History of Walking it seemed apt to post links to it. The video above is an extract from Michael de Certeau’s much referenced book The Practice of Everyday Life, from the chapter ‘Walking in the City’. Another famous writer of a specific kind of walking was Guy Debord, a member of the Situationist movement and inventor of the concept of the dérive or ‘drift’. These unplanned, experimental walks were meant to re-envisage the urban environment for the participant, and was a way of resisting against the formalisation of the modern city by urban planners and architects. An early article on The Theory of the Dérive (1958) is available here. Tim Ingold has also written extensively on the cultural dimensions of walking. ‘Culture on the Ground: The World Perceived Through the Feet’ is a particularly interesting account, and is free to download from the Journal of Material Culture, here.

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