Why Walking? Webinar
On Thursday June 18, America Walks held the first webinar in the Walking College Webinar series, “Why Walking?” which took a foundational look at the practice of walking and the history of walkability.
Jonathon Stalls, Founder and Lead Itinerant with Walk2Connect, started with a discussion of “walking as a practice” – as distinct from walkability and the work of advocacy. He drew from his own experiences during his 8.5-month, 3,030-mile “Kiva Walk” across America in 2010 and showcased several organizations, including Girl Trek, Walk with a Doc, and his own Walk2Connect, that emphasize walking as an experiential activity, and the healing power of walking. Jonathon also presented initial results of his Centers for Disease and Prevention-funded research into the rapid growth of walking groups, clubs, and programs, in recent years.
To counterbalance walking as a practice, Jim Stone, biologist and Executive Director of Circulate San Diego, described the history of walking for transportation in his presentation, titled “The Ecology of Walking.” Starting with human beings’ unique adaptation to bipedalism and millennia of successful and healthy mobility, Jim examined the impact of the invention of the automobile at the turn of the last century and the host of unintended consequences thereby triggered. Finally, he used this analytic background as a framework for understanding recent trends that appear to signal a decline of the car-centric culture in the developed world.