The Routledge International Handbook of Walking  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge International Handbook of Walking

ISBN 9781032339542
Published June 13, 2022 by Routledge
440 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Walking is an essentially human activity. From a basic means of transport and opportunity for leisure through to being a religious act, walking has served as a significant philosophical, literary and historical subject. Thoreau’s 1851 lecture on Walking or the Romantic walks of the Wordsworths at Grasmere in the early 19th Century, for example, helped create a philosophical foundation for the importance of the act of walking as an act of engagement with nature. Similarly, and sometimes inseparable from secular appreciation, pilgrimage trails provide opportunities for finding self and others in the travails of the walk. More recently, walking has been embraced as a means of encouraging greater health and well-being, community improvement and more sustainable means of travel. Yet despite the significance of the subject of walking there is as yet no integrated treatment of the subject in the social science literature.

This handbook therefore brings together a number of the main themes on the study of walking from different disciplines and literatures into a single volume that can be accessed from across the social sciences. It is divided into five main sections: culture, society and historical context; social practices, perceptions and behaviours; hiking trails and pilgrimage routes; health, well-being and psychology; and method, planning and design. Each of these highlights current approaches and major themes in research on walking in a range of different environments.

This handbook carves out a unique niche in the study of walking. The international and cross-disciplinary nature of the contributions of the book are expected to be of interest to numerous academic fields in the social and health sciences, as well as to urban and regional planners and those in charge of the management of outdoor recreation and tourism globally.

Table of Contents


List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Contributors

Preface and Acknowledgements

1 Introduction: Walking – More than pedestrian – C. Michael Hall, Yael Ram & Noam Shoval

Culture, Society and Historical Context

2 Walking in the capitalist city: On the socio-economic origins of walkable urbanism - Anja Hälg Bieri

3 Radical twenty-first century walkers and the Romantic qualities of leisure walking – Phil Smith

4 Long-distance walking in Films: Promises of healing and redemption on the trail – Warwick Frost & Jennifer Laing

5 Walking as Pedagogy - Karein K. Goertz

6 Walking in Germany- between recreation and ideology - Dirk Reiser & Vanessa Jansen-Meinen

7 Walking and art: Perambulating pleasures – Ray Boland & Bryan Wheeler

Social Practices, Perceptions and Behaviours

8 Dog walking as a leisure activity - Yoshitaka Iwasaki

9 Walking in Switzerland: urban and not so leisurely - Derek P. T. H. Christie, Emmanuel Ravalet & Vincent Kaufmann

10 Purposeful leisure mobilities: reframing the walk to school - Debbie Hopkins & Sandra Mandic

11 Spiking: The quest for challenge and meaning among hikers - Ron McCarville & Chantel Pilon

12 On the beaten track: how do narratives from organised hiking differ from "real" hiking narratives? - Outi Rantala & Seija Tuulentie

13 Comparisons between hikers and non-hikers in Iceland: attitudes, behaviours and perceptions - Anna Dóra Sæþórsdóttir, C. Michael Hall & Þorkell Stefánsson

14 Passeggiata Nuova: Social Travel in the Era of the Smartphone - Andrew Mondschein

15 Walking Online: A netnography of China’s emerging hiking communities - Alexandra Witte & Kevin Hannam

Hiking Trails and Pilgrimage Routes

16 Hut-to-hut-hiking trails – a comparative analysis of popular hiking destinations - Sven Gross & Kim Werner

17 Taking you home: The Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil in Palestine – Rami Isaac

18 The Wales Coast Path: The world's first national coastal footpath – Stephen Miles

19 Improving the experience quality of hiking trails - a setting-experience-relationship approach - Diana Müller, Heinz-Dieter Quack, Kathrin Schumacher, Franziska Thiele

20 Hikers preferences and DMO strategies: contrasting perspectives and conflicting views? - Ingeborg M. Nordbø

21 Re-signifying smuggling: cross-border walking trails as a tourist experience in the Spanish-Portuguese border - Heriberto Cairo & María Lois

22 The solo-hike - A journey of distance and closeness - Hannelene Schilar

23 Walking to care: pilgrimage as slow tourism development - Kumano-kodo pilgrimage, Wakayama, Japan – Kumi Kato

24 Hindu pilgrimage in India and walkability: theory and praxis - Subhajit Das & Manirul Islam

Health, Well-being and Psychology

25 Rambling on: exploring the complexity of walking as a meaningful activity - Kirsty Finnie, Tania Wiseman & Neil Ravenscroft

26 Life-changing walks of mid-life adults - Robert Saunders, Betty Weiler & Jennifer Laing

27 Walking to promote increased physical activity - Ian Patterson, Shane Pegg & Wan Rabiah Wan Omar

28 Taking the first step - From physical inactivity towards a healthier lifestyle through leisure walking - Miia Grénman & Juulia Räikkönen

29 Dog walking in urban greenspaces - Giovanna Bertella

Method, Planning and Design

30 Walkable places for visitors: Assessing and designing for walkability – Yael Ram & C. Michael Hall

31 Walking on the shoulders of giants - Historical mountain trails as management tools? - Daniel Svensson, Sverker Sörlin, Annika Dahlberg, Peter Fredman, & Sandra Wall-Reinius

32 Wayfinding design for rural flânerie in France - Hélène Ducros

33 Community benefits from walking tourism in Western Norway - Merete Kvamme Fabritius

34 When walking is no longer possible: investigating crowding and coping practices in urban tourism using commented walks - Monika Popp

35 Assessing the walkability of urban public space with GIS technology: The hidden dimensions of security and community heritage - Peter Schofield, Adele Doran & Ray Nolan

36 Developing a spatial pattern analysis method for evaluating trails in the mountains: the case of Beban Pass in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina - Marisol Vereda & María Laura Borla

37 Improving the walkability of the Camino - Xosé Somoza-Medina & Rubén Camilo Lois González

38 Walk on: Conclusions and the future – C. Michael Hall & Yael Ram


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C. Michael Hall is Professor of Marketing, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Docent in Geography, Oulu University; Visiting Professor, Linneaus University; and Senior Research Fellow, University of Johannesburg. Author and editor of over 80 books, he has published widely on tourism, sustainability, governance and food issues.

Yael Ram is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Tourism Studies, Ashkelon Academic College, Israel.

Noam Shoval is Professor of Geography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.