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  • Gregory Perreault

An ode to great walkways


As someone who grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, I think I took sidewalks for granted. When I go back to visit my hometown, I'm always amazed by the huge range of sidewalks connecting the entirety of Okeechobee Blvd. The reason? People just don't use them and I didn't when I was younger. It was at Georgetown that I read Jane Jacob's brilliant

"Death and Life of Great American Cities," and encountered the wild results of widening the sidewalks: better public health, better public morale, etc. The positive results of sidewalks just went on and on.


I've been asked what I've appreciated about Vienna and I have to say that I love the sidewalks. It speaks exactly to what Jane Jacobs describes--the ability of people to walk side by side, comfortably, which encourages people to chat and to stroll (A few photos of the city here to illustrate). Obviously those things look differently during COVID, it's been so lovely to walk the streets, run the Prater and there really is space to spare.


Each week I try to walks/hike to explore the city. This week was Leopoldstadt in the 2nd district --Leopoldstadt was the historical home for gays and jews prior to World War II and the subject of one of my Fulbright colleague's research.

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