Mink Machine

Increased speed in global cities

I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Oslo, restoring mind and body after interesting lectures during daytime and a lot of urban walking in the evenings. One of my favorite things to do is to explore large cities by foot. Marvel at the shifting architecture, discover interesting people, smell the bakery and tune in to the local pace of life.

Each city has its unique pace and in most cities this pace is getting faster. I read a report which had examined 32 cities around the globe. The researchers had secretly timed pedestrians and found that people are walking 10% more quickly than a decade ago!

Oslo street Pedestrians along Karl Johans gate, Oslo

The ten fastest cities in the report were:

  1. Singapore: 10.55s
  2. Copenhagen, Denmark: 10.82s
  3. Madrid, Spain: 10.89s
  4. Guangzhou, China: 10.94s
  5. Dublin, Ireland: 11.03s
  6. Curitiba, Brazil: 11.13s
  7. Berlin, Germany: 11.16s
  8. New York, USA: 12.00s
  9. Utrecht, Holland: 12.04s
  10. Vienna, Austria: 12.06s

The number is the time it took for people to cover 20 meters. Singapore showed an increase by 30%, making it the most frenetic city in the report. Source: British Council

I haven’t been to all of the cities in the list, but I think the report sounds reasonable. People in general have adopted a frenetic pace of life, which is due to a lot of things. For instance, thanks to technology communications are getting faster every day and enforcing the idea that everything must happen now or never.

Relax. Rome wasn’t built in a day.


  • avatar
    30 May, 2007

    Great, I dislike being caught behind slow walkers

  • avatar
    30 May, 2007

    Great, isn’t it? Makes you save a lot of money for flamethrower fuel!

  • avatar
    31 May, 2007

    I bet you 1000 SEK that the measurements for Singapore where conducted indoors with a lot of AC. If you walk like that outdoors in Singapore you will be sweating like a pig after 100 meters…

  • avatar
    31 May, 2007

    You’re probably right! And the Copenhagen measurement could have been the result of ice in the streets.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured stories

Road trip across the American Southwest

"We drove along Route 6, Route 66 and Route 666. If there was a Route 6666, we must have missed that turn."

Visions of Singapore

"By extensive use of landfill with sand bought from Indonesia and Cambodia, the bay area has expanded greatly in the last few years and tall buildings pop up everywhere."

Aliens in Nevada and New Mexico

"We turned around and went down another dirt road, past countless Joshua trees until our car was covered in dirt and we finally arrived at the Front Gate of Area 51."

On the Trans-Siberian

"Since the toilets were locked during the seven hour stop, we had to bribe the provodnitsas to use the facilities. Then came the Mongols."

Greetings from Moldova

"But Chisinau is an unexpected gem in the wilderness. Even though Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, the capital has its fair share of impressive buildings and post-Soviet architecture."

Roaming in Valletta

"I passed the statue of Jean de Valette, the 49th Grand Master who laid the foundation stone to Valletta in 1566, to gaze at the golden interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where he is buried in the crypt."