What would a genuinely walkable city was like?

The obsession with self-driving automobiles and dockless cycles means pedestrians are often overlooked. But if we fail to accommodate those on foot, we dismiss an essential part of what makes a city great

Arriving by Greyhound coach in Phoenix, Arizona, one November evening I was faced with either six hours waiting in the terminal or a one-mile walking with my wheelie suitcase to a nearby shuttle bus. I soon learned that simple-sounding walking was alongside a fast, unlit road with no pavement. Forced to take a taxi ($ 15 minimum fare) the Cameroonian driver and I talked incredulously as we watched the gravel and grass verge – perfectly wide enough for a sidewalk- float past into the night.

The modern obsession with autonomous and electric vehicles, dockless scooters and bicycles entails it is easy to forget the humble pedestrian. However, as almost every journey starts or finishes on foot, we are dismissing a fundamental part of what makes a city great.

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