According to Professor Richard Wiseman in his book “Quirkology” it is! In collaboration with the British Council, Professor Wiseman and researchers from around the world measured worldwide walking speeds at various cities on 22nd August 2006. The research teams recorded the time it took 35 men and 35 women to walk along a 60 foot stretch of pavement. In each city they observed pedestrians walking on a busy street with a wide flat pavement, that was free of obstacles, and sufficiently uncrowded to allow people to walk along at their maximum speed. The experiment took place between 11:30 am and 2 pm on the assigned day and the researchers only recorded the speeds of adults who were on their own. They didn’t record the speed of anybody that was using a mobile telephone or carrying lots of shopping whilst walking. According to the results it took an average of 10.55 seconds for somebody in Singapore to cover the 60 feet. Faster than Copenhagen (10.82 s), Madrid (10.89 s) and Guangzhou (10.94 s). Surprisingly New York (12.00 s) and London (12.17s) were more than a second slower than Singapore. The slowest city? Blantyre the centre of Finance and Commerce and the largest city in Malawi took an astonishing 31.60 seconds to complete the 60 foot stretch. Interestingly this was a repeat of a similar experiment that took place in 1994 by Dr. Robert Levine who measured walking speeds in 16 cities. When the results from 2006 are compared to those obtained in 1994 they reveal that the world has got a whole lot faster. It takes on average 4 seconds less in Singapore and Guangzhou to complete the walk in 2006 than it did in 1994! “Quirkology” is published by MacMillan.
Posted by: Jim Howlett