Speed walking

Research in 32 cities around the world has revealed that, on average, pedestrians are now walking 10% faster than they did 12 years ago. The acceleration has been most acute in the booming economies of Asia. The Chinese have upped their walking speed by nearly 30%. The weird thing is that some cities with a reputation for being laidback now rank among the fastest. Dublin came fifth and Copenhagen second. As it happens, I was in the Danish capital yesterday and didn’t notice a brisker pace, but maybe it was just a slow day. Here is the conclusion of the head researcher: “People’s walking pace is determined by how much they think they’re in a hurry, how quickly they think they should be doing things…I believe a lot of it is technology-driven. These days, you press send on an email and if someone hasn’t responded in ten minutes, you think: ‘Where are they?'”