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To walk or not to walk, that is the question

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Sydney Schuman

on 4 December 2013

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Transcript of To walk or not to walk, that is the question

To walk or not to walk, that is the question
A study on why, if and when we walk

Will I walk today?
Adopted from Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Mariela Alfonzo's
Hierarchy of Walking Needs
5 levels
of needs that must be considered and met if a person is going to decide to walk.
The needs are organized in terms of the most important. with the most basic and fundamental needing to be satisfied first before moving on. However, the needs do not need to be completely satisfied before moving on to a next level, and the order of the higher-level needs may vary slightly for each person. (Alfonzo, 2005, p. 818)

Today we see the hierarchy in action, and will explore the decision process that my
made when
deciding whether or not she was going to walk
to school this morning.
I thought this would be a
topic to further explore because my roommate and I make this decision (in a less formal way) every morning! Usually we walk, but when the threat of being late to class threatens... we drive.
BUT, what was the outcome for today?... We will see.
The most basic, fundamental level
Other commitments

The result:
Yes, it is possible
Anne woke up early this morning, so she was on time and had no fear of being late to class. The walk is easy, less than a mile. She was uninjured, with her two feet working well. She had no other commitments or responsibilities for the morning other than getting herself to school.
Quantity, quality and variety
Inhibiting obstacles

The result:
Yes, she can get there
The path Anne takes from our apartment to ASU's downtown Phoenix apartment is kept up very well. There are sidewalks the whole way with no real cracks in the cement, and she cuts through the well-groomed and paved Arizona Center as a shortcut. There were no barriers nor obstacles.
Well, she made it to school!... That's a relief isn't it?
Alfonzo's Hierarchy of Walking Needs
By Sydney Schuman
Level of ease, convenience and contentment
Safe traffic conditions
Adequate places to walk, ie. wide sidewalks
Protection from the elements
Places to sit

The result:
Yes, it is accommodating
Though it was a bit chilly this morning, Anne was bundled up and there was no extreme weather conditions, though the trees and awnings would protect from that. The roadways are busy but they are generally safe with wide sidewalks that act as a buffer from the street. There are benches to sit.
In Alfonzo's order, the final level
How appealing the setting is
Aesthetics, ie. architecture and urban design
Diversity and complexity

The result:
Yes, it is enjoyable
Anne personally prefers larger cities such as Boston or Seattle, but the architecture that makes up downtown Phoenix is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing in its own right. In the mornings there are enough people to keep it lively, and there is a wide range in diversity in the people you encounter.
May be affected by urban form, land uses and specific people
Graffiti or litter
Abandoned or run-down buildings
Undesirable businesses
Threatening groups of people

The result:
Yes, it is fairly protected
Though parts of Phoenix are certainly run down, there are a lot of homeless people or otherwise threatening people and many less-than-desired stores, on Anne's pathway to school the office buildings are kept up, the streets are clean and nice and there are other non-threatening people walking as well.
Is it possible?
Can you get there?
Are you protected?
Is it enjoyable?
Is it accomodating?
*name has been changed
In review:
Alfonzo says before we decide to walk there is an internal dialogue we engage in where we
whether or not to walk.
The factors we base this on are how
feasible a trip is
, how
accessible the pathways are
, how
safe the area is
, how
comfortable the walk is
and how
aesthetically pleasurable the setting is
But, WHY walk?
Thanks for watching!
Like I said, I chose this project because I thought it would be fun and interesting and I really thought it was. I enjoyed making it (I hope you enjoyed watching it!) I have learned a lot in this class over all, and I learned so much more about this theory by doing this project, which really is why I did this and what I think the purpose of this whole assignment is. Thanks class and thank you to our wonderful teacher!
Happy holidays!
Alfonzo, M. A. (2005). To Walk Or Not To Walk? The Hierarchy Of Walking Needs. Environment and Behavior, 37(6), 808-836.

Zurawik, M. A. (2012). Sociological Perspectives on Walking. Academia, 1, 1-10. Retrieved December 4, 2013, from the Academia database.
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