Thursday, 18 December 2014

Oh, go take a walk... in Sidmouth

Being able to drive into town and park easily is what most of us expect - but we get annoyed if it seems the council is trying to rip us off over carparking fees:
Futures Forum: An alternative to councils simply making money out of parking charges: "mixed development"
Futures Forum: Parking in East Devon: where and how much... continued

Instead, we could always cycle into town:
Futures Forum: Creating a Dutch-style cycling culture in the UK

And there's always public transport:
Futures Forum: Hopper Bus: and green tourism
Infrastructure: the elephant on the highways of East Devon | East Devon Alliance

Alternatively, we could walk from carparks on the outskirts of town:
Take the Knowle walk while you can … and park while you can | East Devon Alliance

And we could encourage more walking rather than driving in the centre of town:
Futures Forum: An idea for improving Sidmouth: making the town more pedestrian friendly
Futures Forum: An idea for improving Sidmouth: making the town more pedestrian friendly: press report

But there is plenty of disagreement over making town centres more 'pedestrian friendly':
No traffic centre “death knell” of Sidmouth claim traders - News - Sidmouth Herald
Futures Forum: Urban spin... "Bikes, parks and pedestrian boulevards..." or... "Car-free roads and green corridors will allow private developers to wreck heritage"

Ultimately, however, walking is good for you...
Walking for Health - Health Walks, Walking Clubs, Walking Exercise
Why a walking workout is good for your body | Daily Mail Online
Put your best foot forward: why walking is good for you | Life and style | theguardian.com
Walking for Health | Bristol City Council

Oh, Go Take a Walk

CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times
It’s something that you do every day without giving it a moment’s thought. Most of us treat walking as a necessity, a mode of transportation or a way to cut some calories.
But philosophers and scientists agree — the simple act of walking can do wonders for the mind.
In a recent podcast, Sasha Weiss, a literary editor at The New Yorker, went on a walk around Manhattan with the writer and commentator Adam Gopnik.
The podcast is an accompaniment to “Heaven’s Gaits, ” a piece in The New Yorker by Mr. Gopnik on walking. In the essay, Mr. Gopnik discusses two new books on the pedestrian: one that explores the history of competitive walking, and another about the philosophy of walking.
There are different types of urban walking. The classic 19th-century Parisian walker was called a “flâneur,” and to be a flâneur, Mr. Gopnik says in the podcast, “is to be in a floating state, where you are spiritually at least two feet off the ground, where you are able to observe, but don’t feel compelled to connect.” Walking is the Western form of meditation, Mr. Gopnik writes of this Parisian, contemplative style.
A recent study published in the journal Preventive Medecine found that people who walk or cycle to work report increased concentration and less strain. Researchers from the University of East Anglia who studied 18,000 British workers found that a commute that involves physical activity (walking to a bus included) improved measures like the “feeling worthlessness, sleepless nights and unhappiness,” according to The Telegraph.
Oh, Go Take a Walk - NYTimes.com

This doesn't just apply to the big cities...

The best way to see Sidmouth is on a guided walk from the Museum:
Download days out leaflet for Sidmouth Museum - FREE Guided Strolls, South West England, Devon, Walking and Guided Tours

... and beyond:
5 Things To Do in Sidmouth, United Kingdom
The Jurassic Coast from Sidmouth to Seaton - Car Free Walks
Coastal path walk, Sidmouth - Exmouth 28-3-12.wmv - YouTube

... with Sidmouth hosting a Walking Festival
Sidmouth Folk Week - Visit Sidmouth
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Walking Festival: Saturday 27th September to Thursday 2nd October

Making our way back to the flaneur:
Baudelaire, Benjamin and the Birth of the Flâneur - Psychogeographic Review

And the joys of observing and appreciating what the street might offer:

Oil paintings vs. Shop signs
Writing desks vs. Street walls
Libraries vs. Newspaper stands
Bronze busts vs. Mailboxes
Bedroom furniture vs. Benches
Balconies vs. Cafe terraces
Vestibules vs. Railings
Drawing rooms vs. Arcades
situationists | Reading the Arcades / Reading the Promenades
Pop Culture and Power - New Yorker

Which takes us to 'psychogeography':

Bluffer's guide: Psychogeography
It's Nice That : Christian Skovgaard's new graphic novel is all about psychogeography

And then back to the streets of Sidmouth...
Good pub hidden in the back streets - Swan Inn, Sidmouth Traveller Reviews - TripAdvisor

Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: Eastern Town then and now

Futures Forum: Affordable housing in Sidmouth: DCH and EDDC

See also:
Sid Vale Association - The History of Sidmouth
Sid Vale Association - Heritage Asset Project

Futures Forum: Greening car parks in Sidmouth

Futures Forum: Climate change: asphalt and urban heat islands
Futures Forum: Alternatives to asphalt for building roads ..... gravel, or ..... concrete, or ..... glass as solar panels

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