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My wife and I retired to Superior, Wisconsin a few years ago and live in a very walkable neighborhood. The town was basically built up prior to the 1920s, so it wasn't designed around the automobile.

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Kent, I think, unfortunately, that's the key to finding a walkable place to live. Although there have been more recent developments that are designed around walking, most places that are conducive to walking, at least int the U.S., were built before the 1940s, when the model became the automobile-dependent suburb. It's the same with where I live now, developed and built 1910s-1920s. Days will go by without me getting into my car.

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Feb 7Liked by Paul Hormick

Thank you for the interesting article.

It reminded me of walking meditation after reading it.

Walking meditation, known as "Kinhin" in the Zen tradition, is a form of meditation that emphasizes mindfulness while walking.

Unlike the seated meditation practice known as "Zazen," walking meditation involves focusing one's attention on the act of walking itself, aiming to cultivate inner silence and present-moment awareness.

During walking meditation, practitioners walk slowly and quietly, concentrating on their breathing and each step they take. This focused attention helps to calm the mind, reduce distractions, and foster a state of tranquility. While it is often practiced in serene settings such as nature or quiet spaces, walking meditation can be adapted to any environment, making it a versatile practice for integrating mindfulness into daily life.

Thank you for the wonderful article anyway.

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Minglo, so sorry I did not see your comment till today. I have read a bit about walking meditation. From the state of mind that I get from walking it seems that Kinhin would be an easier and quicker path (literally and figuratively) to developing a meditative state. I'm going to try to find out more about it.

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Jan 31Liked by Paul Hormick

RE: how to get people to choose walking? (Other than by gentrification?)

Easy for you and me to walk as we have sidewalks and curbs and shade trees. I remember when our area was much more a "walk on the wild side" with unmaintained streets, alleys and sidewalks. The turnaround really gained momentum when the huge electrical transmission lines were undergrounded and trees planted.

Social/Environmental justice will enable more people to chose walking.

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Ms. Eliz, yes! I hadn't really thought of this, but South Park, the neighborhood where I took all the photos for this posting, is incredibly walkable. It's the neighborhood that even features a quarterly "Walkabout." This wasn't always the case. Over the last 30 years, the neighborhood has become gentrified, even though the sidewalks are still bad.

I think of other walking places, and they are almost all gentrified in some way. Barrio Logan is now walkable. Guess what. It's gentrified. Is this somehow an unavoidable correlation? Walkability = Gentrification?

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Jan 27Liked by Paul Hormick

“... how to get people to choose walking?” The Strong Towns movement has plenty to say about design and engineering for safer walkable environments.

But I think it starts at school. We have to make walking to school safer and more enjoyable for our children so that walking is just what people do every day.

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Bill, thanks for letting me know about the Strong Towns movement. I'll check them out. Yes, neighborhoods should have smaller, local schools instead of these huge campuse and children are bussed from all over creation. That could be a good start!

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Jan 26Liked by Paul Hormick

As a therapist for thirty years I have accepted that I will almost always recommend walking body movement nature Observation. I recall working aids hospice in the 90s for about 6 1/2 years and I asked the patient rather naïvely. How would you rate your depression? He said “John I’ve had a good life I’ve made some bad decisions I have a good family I’ve seen things and done things. This is my time, just because I have aids and am dying. Does not mean I’m depressed but thank you for asking.” He gifted me a wonderful block print.

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How surprising and wonderful!

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Jan 26Liked by Paul Hormick

Quite a while back I think it was Stanford University that a study with depressed patients, and had some of the patients walking a mile or so a day, and the other patients were given Prozac. After a certain amount of time they were reassessed in the people who were walking were reporting a far Better outlook and balanced mood, which makes perfect sense to most of us. I do not live in an area where I could walk to a store. I think the nearest store is 3 miles away and it’s basically a gas station but because of my property and the street I walk quite oftenwith my dog, which is a double therapeutic for me.

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Jo, I am not familiar with the study you are referring to, but there is this meta-analysis that found walking and other exercise were better than drugs or therapy in helping folks fight depression:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/is-exercise-more-effective-than-medication-for-depression-and-anxiety

And, yes, walking is good; walking with a dog is wonderful.

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Jan 26Liked by Paul Hormick

I couldn’t find that other study, but here’s one that continues to validate our beliefhttps://news.stanford.edu/2015/06/30/hiking-mental-health-063015/

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Thanks!

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