There’s a Facebook group called I secretly want to punch slow walking people in the back of the head. Is this silent urban protest or opportunity for citizens’ juries to decide on pavement speed limits?
The good news for the group is that we are genuinely walking faster through cities than we were ten years ago, according to research by the intriguingly named Professor Wiseman at the University of Hertfordshire. The average city stroller speed is now 12.5 seconds every 60 feet. Apparently Singapore, Copenhagen, Madrid and the even more intriguingly named Brazilian city Cuntiba top the table. Slowcoach spots include Ottowa, Damascus and Bucharest.
The bad news is that as we use our mobiles or text as we walk, we slow down, and even bump into each other. Less good news is that half of the world’s population now inhabit cities, and the UN estimates that three quarters will be by the year 2050. Will this slow us down, or speed us up?