Jamia Wilson

Executive Director, TED Prize

This conversation is closed.

What is your favorite city to explore on foot?

Upcoming TEDCity2.0 speaker Jeff Speck believes that "walkability" is what makes cities thrive. http://blog.ted.com/2013/09/09/the-most-walkable-cities-in-the-world/

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    Sep 14 2013: I think Rome has got to be the most amazing city to explore on foot... at every corner there is some incredible architecture, source of history and stories, great coffee and wonderful pizza and gelatti. And that's it in a nutshell. Love it :)
  • Sep 13 2013: Charleston, South Carolina. It's small enough that you can walk everywhere, and it is the perfect combination of modern and historical. Charleston's only a short distance from the best beaches in the state, and has some of the best food and shopping!
  • Sep 16 2013: Tibet, very mystery place,
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    Sep 16 2013: Stockholm. I've been there several times and once managed to walk 17 km during a rainy day. It was still amazing!
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      Sep 16 2013: Oh my...17 km!! You are really an iron girl :-)
    • Sep 17 2013: Wow. Walking is awesome. It's the best way to experience an environment. Good for you.
  • Sep 14 2013: On foot, its got to be Florence, Italy, one of the world's most beautiful cities with history and great art seen on every street corner.
  • Sep 14 2013: Boston. It is amazing seeing everything.
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    Sep 14 2013: That would be Saint Augustine, Florida. one of the oldest cities in the United States. There are so many old building there since the time of the first Spanish settlements.
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      Sep 14 2013: Oooh, that is one of the ones that came to my mind.

      It's just the right size to walk all over in a day's time.
      The fact that it is by the water is a big plus!!!
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        Sep 14 2013: It really is a wonderful place. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, next to St. Augustine. I've spent a lot of time there, especially on the beach, surfing.
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    Sep 14 2013: I live near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa has a very Art Deco feel to the downtown area. There are influences of Native American and the future as well. In my travels, I have enjoyed walking many downtown areas. Charlotte, NC is amazing, everywhere I went I met friendly and helpful people. New Orleans is always inviting and fun. Washington, D.C. has so many things to do for free, all the museums and government in the works! What I have noticed when I am away from home is how much more of other cities I can see in a short span of time. It's alot like thinking you will visit the zoo but it's always there and we don't have to go right now. Everyone should not only take the time to smell the flowers, but make the time to investigate interesting features of "HOME". Pretend you are out of town and see what your hometown has to offer!
  • Sep 14 2013: Can I choose two? Chicago or New Orleans...
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    Sep 14 2013: Parts of Philadelphia are amazing to explore on foot, especially the historic Center City. I love walking down a brick sidewalk and finding something I'd never have seen while speeding by.
    I love history, so it's amazing that within a few blocks near Washington Square, you can find the jaw-dropping museum & archives of the Mother Bethel Church: http://www.motherbethel.org/mus.php ... the house where the first carbonated soft drink was served in the US http://www.visitphilly.com/history/philadelphia/the-physick-house/ ... and an eternal flame that burns for the Unknown Soldier of the Revolutionary War http://www.ushistory.org/tour/tomb-of-the-unknown-soldier.htm
    And all this stuff exists in working neighborhoods full of houses, stores and offices. In downtown Philly, most people walk to where they need to go, and it's fun to see the tourists and nerds mixing with busy people just going about their day!
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    Sep 18 2013: Maybe an international City like Dubai where you have access to all different kind of food and culture
    Maybe a small village those in Italy or Bokhara that you find original traditional food made by housewife
  • Sep 16 2013: Prague! We spent 5 days there in May and walked over 10 miles a day, every bit of it filled with wonderful people and views. I've been to many of the cities mentioned by other commenters and by far, Prague has been my favorite.
  • Sep 16 2013: I think that every city has a reason to be explored on foot.
    My personal experience regards Istanbul. I can ensure that walking into its neighborhoods ( Fener , Balat , Kadikoy ) it can feel a particular emotion , because there are many cultural and religious contraddictions, that makes it a city of thousand souls.
  • Sep 16 2013: Siem Reap, Cambodia. Hands down! Between the night market and the ancient templed city of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap offers a barrage of S.E Asian culture, in a way that no other city in the region does, you will NOT be disappointed.
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    Sep 16 2013: I agree with the idea that walking makes any city way more interesting. Though it is easier to walk aroud cities like New York, or Porto Alegre (Brasil) because they are easier than, say, San Francisco with all the hills and slopes - though New York can be complicated due to the amount of people walking in a hurry -, I've found fascinating places even in Bonn while getting lost. And San Francisco is worth the effort.
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    Sep 16 2013: Any city I love exploring on foot as that's the best way of exploration to me .
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    Sep 16 2013: Probably Edinburgh, because it has its own mountain in the middle with fantastic views over the city - great to see on foot.
  • Sep 16 2013: What about Paris ?
  • Sep 16 2013: Sounds trite, but love exploring the city I am in at the time and seeing the same places at different times of day/week. For example, the Financial District in NY is completely different on Saturday/Sunday to a weekday.
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    Sep 16 2013: To me – it is the unknown city. I love to spread out the map and go.
  • Sep 16 2013: Walking around Florence is like time travelling. The city really was made for walking.
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    Sep 16 2013: Tokyo...
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    Sep 16 2013: I was going to campaign for Amsterdam, and I will: it's a great walking city, with its historical renaissance architecture.
    But then I noticed that no one has mentioned Santa Fe and Taos, in New Mexico, US. These are the great art towns of the American west, associated with Georgia O'Keefe and her New York cohort. Mexican stucco architecture, and a journey back to the early 1900s.
  • Sep 15 2013: I would say that it is either a tossup between Tokyo and Hong Kong. Both have their charms. Hong Kong is just an awesome walk. The city is covered in elevated foot paths, and subway tunnels, and there are foot tunnels connecting most of the subway stations, as well as places that the trains do not go.
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    Sep 15 2013: Bratislava.

    Little, funny sculptures on every corner. Beautiful, old buildings.

    Apart from that - Balmora, Vivec and Leyawiin. The last three are cities in computer games, but I remember them as vividly as the first one. Yes. I know I'm a nerd.
    Best wishes.
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      Sep 15 2013: Not fair Anna.......LOL
  • Sep 15 2013: Try Valencia, Spain during Fallas in February. 300 wonderful 'fallas' in every Barrio, papier mache statues the size of houses which are all burned to the ground on the last night. Chocolate and churros, fireworks and parades. A great street festival.
  • Sep 15 2013: I love walking through any city or town to discover its hidden treasures: London, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Accra, Paris, Vancouver, Windermere, Blackpool, Phoenix, Sucre, Claresholm, Dieppe, ... The key is not the city but the walking.
  • Sep 15 2013: Barcelona! Lovely to walk along the Medieval quarter in the centre of the city and discover the small, hidden squares and its narrow streets. Little bits of magnificent beauty. Incomparable.
  • Sep 15 2013: Any smaller city in Canada.

    Kingston, Ontario was the most recent.

    Neat architecture, great restaurants and bakeries, friendly people, and no fear of finding myself in a place where I might feel unsafe.
  • Sep 15 2013: I can relate to that. Was a long time ago but new orleans was fantastic, and great food too!
  • Sep 15 2013: Florence and Venice are in Italy the best one... they're just made to walk around
  • Sep 15 2013: Its only really been Sydney and San Francisco which I loved. A backpack, the hostel and walking the streets literally for four days..no not street walking....buses, trains, ferries, trams. I realised that the fog wasn't an effect in Ghostbusters. I met a gigolo in Macey's. Someone had told me about the cake. Music and sculpture in the park. Golden gate, the falling asleep at the wharves, in the parks.

    Finding galleries everywhere, up alleyways, stairwells .....walking into a corner shop, up the stairs to a small white room with black leather lounges and sitting in a room full of Kandinsky?, bookshops. Fair dinkum Burritos at Sausalita?. Making a meal last all day. Seeing all the drawings of my favourite book of the Masters on the walls of the gallery, the size of the seagulls on the bay. Next time Haight Ashbury, Chinatown & lots more.
  • Sep 15 2013: New Orleans. Weird, hole in the wall bars, 'magic' shops, street food, music, and just the people. Also, Barcelona, Spain is pretty awesome during the evening hours.
  • Sep 14 2013: A long way to go from America but relatively close to Australia, Hanoi in Vietnam is a fascinating place to walk around. Something new and interesting around ever corner and great food!
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    Sep 14 2013: haven't traveled much. Lived in Los Angeles for 10 years and really enjoyed walking and seeing the diverse, colorful neighborhoods.
  • Sep 14 2013: I love New York! There is always something small or out of the ordinary that you can find around to enjoy!
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    Sep 13 2013: I have been to neither, but I read this morning in This Big City that the residents of Copenhagen walk, on average, 52 minutes a day (though cycling is the main reason among those who do not walk much) and people in Barcelona walk on average 48 minutes per day.
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      Sep 13 2013: Thank you! The timing puts the walking in perspective. I'm curious about how much people walk in NYC and in Paris too.
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        Sep 13 2013: When I went to Paris thirty years ago, everyone advised me to use the subway, as it was so convenient.

        Instead I walked everywhere. My only hop onto a train was when I went to see Versaille.

        There may be less walking when public transportation is good and when cycling is convenient.
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    Sep 13 2013: Tibet in China and Hawaii in America. They are my dream touring destinations. Tibet is famous for its enigmatic natral beauty and power. Hawaii is for its romantic beach and customs.
  • Sep 13 2013: Hana
    When I was there the bank was open two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon three days a week and it was about six feet wide and twelve feet deep. It had a dutch door that doubles as a counter and 1 employee oh yes and you could also get your mail there. It was attached to the general store where you could get anything else. There was a small gas/repair station and a restaurant. That's it folks, what else could you possibly need? If there's a heaven on earth, it has to be real close to Hana, Maui.

    So, what so special about Hana? It is 30 miles from anything. No police, No fire trucks, No ambulance, No traffic, No crime, No noise, No buses, No politics, No TV, No radio, No cable, No clubs, No crowds, No shopping centers, No McDonalds, No courts, No lawyers, No Semi-trucks, No Prostitutes, No Problems!
    Just sunshine, beaches, waterfalls, tropical birds & animals, wild hogs & deer, wild fruit & flowers and the friendliest people in the world.

    Nobody runs Hana, it just is! There are no rules.
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    Sep 19 2013: San Francisco
  • Sep 19 2013: I think one of the best.. is Venice.. it's my city.. you can explore it only by foot..
  • Sep 19 2013: I grew up in London, England, and although there is plenty of public transport which you can use, some of my favourite memories from my teen years involve myself and my friends wondering aimlessly around London on foot, discovering how the different parts of Central London link up in ways you wouldn't expect or realise based on the tube map. For example, on the tube from Waterloo (next to the London Eye) to Convent Garden is fairly complicated because of how the tube lines are laid out, but walking doesn't take very long and it is quite a nice one. I'm now 17 and living in Portsmouth, England, which is also cool to explore on foot, as it is very flat! I enjoy the fact that you can walk from the Beach into the city centre in about 20 minutes and if you wouldn't even know the beach was there if you didn't just walk from it.
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    Sep 19 2013: I've explored Pretoria on foot. Such a lovely city with many parks and gardens. Buildins have a blend of architectural styles like Neo-greek/Roman, Renaissance, Cape Dutch and Victorian.
    In spring the flowers of the Jacaranda trees add splashes of deep lilac to the streets.

    The pace in this city is slower than its neighbour, Johannesburg; so it is a better place to relax and let your hair down.
    Lovely city.
  • Sep 19 2013: i would like to explore bali, because you can walk around with perfect scenery.
  • Sep 18 2013: Jamshedpur is a city in India, which anyone can explore by walking.It is a city where greenery is every where.This city is also known as the green city.
  • Sep 17 2013: Toronto, Ontario, Canada is without question my favorite "walking" city. Toronto is a metropolis composed of many neighborhoods, each with its own distinct flavor. One can easily move from the fashion district along Queen St. to Chinatown, Greek Town, Kensington Market and onward throughout the city. The city is safe and clean. The many pubs and eaterys make urban trekking a pleasure. It's a great city for experienceing diversity, urban sophistication, and good 'ol Canadian hospitality.
  • Sep 17 2013: Boston~
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    Sep 16 2013: Paris
  • Sep 16 2013: Chicago
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    Sep 16 2013: Probably Reykjavik. Its so colourful. Every block surprises you, there is something new on every left or right. The culture is so different and the people are so friendly.
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      Sep 16 2013: I would imagine that you walked it during the summer? Or perhaps spring or fall?

      There are images of the aurora borealis over the city when you google the name......that must be some sight!!
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        Sep 17 2013: I was there during the summer. It was around mid-June. That's when they have the midnight sun.

        The aurora nights are between October and February I guess. I wish to experience that soon!

        But summer or winter, I'm sure Reykjavik is one of the most calm and beautiful capitals.
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          Sep 17 2013: I have always wanted to see the aurora lights.......maybe one day.

          Enjoy your next visit!
          And thank you for the reply.
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    Sep 16 2013: Hangzhou,a Chinese city. The extraordinarily elegant people in Hangzhou,you can never see any other city in China as graceful and proud as Hangzhou. Need a peaceful heart to explore and absorb its tranquility.
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    Sep 16 2013: Umm... Actually I have no ideas as I never have a chance yet to travel to other countries. Care to give any suggestion:-) ?
  • Sep 16 2013: Lol,I haven't explored on foot in any city yet.But I think when u go to explore on foot with your lover,wherever is always the best place.:)
  • Sep 13 2013: When I travel for business, I always plan a 1/2 to 3/4 of day to explore where I was on foot. Some places are easier than others. Probably Washington DC is the easiest with all of its parks, malls, and monuments all close together. Charleston, SC and New Orleans are also very easy to explore on foot. NYC is easy to walk , but it seemed there was a lot of distance between the things I wanted to see, so I spent more time walking than actually seeing the sights I wanted to see. Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, CA are walkable but they are long walks.