Liveability, sustainability, best for business, are all lists annually published that purport to inform us about our neighbourhoods, towns and cities. However, we at Rethinking Cities & the Museum of Walking have been investigating how to measure civility in our urban and suburban surroundings, and a core element that comes out from our research so far, is that the most civilised places are those that encourage and enable residents to walk safely, meeting and greeting their fellow citizens while out and about on foot.
During October and November, we are asking a hundred experts for their suggestions of the most walkable neighbourhoods, towns and cities in the UK and we want them to tell us why these particular places get their recommendation. Could it be that they offer greater interest, finer detail, a less noisy environment, closer destinations, more direct routes, or more places to intermingle, dawdle or just meander on foot?
As the “Red routes” were embedded in the transport infrastructure of Milton Keynes, is it the undisputed most walkable city in the UK?
Robert Huxford, Director of the Urban Design Group believes walking is by far the best way to explore a place and he would nominate Rye (East Sussex), Canterbury or within the walls of York, as far more walkable than Milton Keynes. “May be one needs a decent centre, and decent radial walking routes” he suggests.
This article first appeared on the Rethinking Cities website.