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Can Our Smart Phones Convince Us to Walk More?

How Americans might be able to leverage technology to get back in our pedestrian groove.
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Walking may be the most ancient mode of human transportation, but in the 21st-century United States it has become an endangered form of locomotion. That was the gist of journalist Tom Vanderbilt’s keynote address at a symposium called “Walking and the Life of the City” held yesterday by the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management.

Vanderbilt noted that people in the U.S. walk less than the citizens of any other industrialized nation, logging about 5,000 steps a day compared to nearly 10,000 steps per day in Australia and Switzerland and more than 7,000 in Japan. “Walking is what you do when you park your car,” said Vanderbilt, whose series of articles about walking over at Slate provide a great overview of “how we got off the pedestrian path.”