Sociologists have long noted that dynamism is an essential part of the urban way of life. However, walking as a significant social activity and crucial research method (in spite of its ubiquity as part of urban life) has often been overlooked. This volume considers walking in the city from a variety of perspectives, in a variety of places and with a variety of methods, to engage with the question of how walking can contribute to the sociological imagination and reveal sociological knowledge. Bringing together new research on sites across Europe, Walking in the European City addresses the nature of everyday mobility in contemporary urban settings, shedding light not only on the ways in which walking relates to other social institutions and practices, but also as a method for studying urban life. With attention to intersections of race and ethnicity, gender and class, as well as the manner in which processes of gentrification transform urban space, this book examines questions of access to public places, exploring the ways in which urban dwellers’ use of and relation to neighbourhood spaces are shaped by inequalities of status and power. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, geography and anthropology with interests in urban studies, mobility and research methods.
’While illuminating walking as both a social activity and method for studying urban locales, Shortell and Brown contribute a unique perspective to urban theory and research with this groundbreaking book. The collection of chapters reveals innovative approaches to analyzing cities in Europe. It is a must-read for urban scholars, students, and anyone who loves cities.’ Judith N. DeSena, St. John's University, New York City, USA ’Walking is a fundamental way of interacting with and making sense of the urban environment for everyday urbanites and students of urban life alike. Shortell and Brown have put together a wonderful collection of studies that show how the tactile act of walking connects the body - as an instrument of knowledge and power - and the city it travels through.’ Michael Ian Borer, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA 'The present volume has a refreshingly wide scope, with 14 chapters by different authors, offering insights on urban walking in the UK, France, Italy, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Turkey and Bosnia. ... Overall, the book presents concepts and methods that appeal to sociologists, anthropologists and geographers. It also gives useful ideas on how to use walking as an educational experience. ... the book provides interesting insights on urban mobility and on the connections between the role of walking in society and in social science.' Urban Geography Research Group