'Generally, roads are where things that are bigger than you travel
faster than you. Therefore road junctions have the potential to
bring together extremes: hard and soft; fast and slow; the
quick-witted and the stupid. I'm taking it for granted that you
know where you fit in to this scheme.'
Whatever the intention of architect or planner, whether plotting
schemes of monumental constraint or modular flexibility, whether
dissolving the city walls into air or bits, inhabitants of the city
have to learn to live with the consequences.
London Walking is an expression of this human process, as both
document and utility. It is a handbook for survival. It explores
the city from groundlevel, relates it to lived experience, and is
both a practical guide and a spur for dreams and new possibilities.
Once on foot, at street level, and with appropriate strategies and
techniques, it is possible to experience the city at its haptic,
The book hinges on local knowledge and street-smarts which span
such subjects as crossing the road, playing street-games and 'how
to build your own portable stile'. Even techniques learned in rural
or suburban environments become invaluable when applied in urban
situations. How far can you walk in a day, following the sun? Can
you cross town using only Australian aboriginal navigation
London Walking explores the many liminal zones of the city,
where the city contests its own existence: at the borders with its
suburbs, in districts defined by residents rather than by property
developers. It engages with the continual slippage of rich into
poor, natural resource into capital, leisure into work and all the
things in between that make Londonmetropolitan rather than merely
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