Thursday, October 11, 2007

City Speed

My friend Beth emailed me the following bit taken from an old edition of the New York Times:

The pace of life in big cities is faster than it is in small towns -- about 2.8 feet per second faster, according to a study by a Princeton University psychologist and his wife, who is an anthropologist.

By measuring how fast people walk along the main streets of municipalities of varying sizes, they have confirmed what most people have sensed informally. The bigger the city, the faster its inhabitants walk.

They found, for example, that on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, people walk at a brisk 5 feet per second, only a little slower than their counterparts on Wenceslas Square in Prague, who bustle along at 5.8 feet per second.

In contrast to Brooklyn and Prague, both of which have a population of more than a million, the 365 citizens of Psychro, Greece, amble along at 2.7 feet per second and the people of Corte, France (population 5,500) move at 3.3 feet per second.

(New York Times, Feb. 29, 1976, p. 46)

A PDF version of the article is available.

No comments: