Quickstep: London walking speed

Things to do, people to meet. Rushing around is regarded as an acceptable hazard of city living.


Researchers in 35 city centres timed how long it took 70 people unencumbered by phones, shopping and companions to walk 60 feet. Singapore came top of the table, followed by Copenhagen, Madrid and Guangzhou in China. London was outside the top 10.

People who walk fast are also more likely to speak and eat quickly, wear a watch and get impatient, he says. They don’t like to sit still, sit in traffic or wait in queues.

The professor believes the increased pace of life is driven by technology and the way people are constantly in touch with each other. As people speed up in their lives they are not eating properly, exercising or seeing friends and family. All these things can lead to all kinds of things, especially heart attacks.

“We’re just moving faster and faster and getting back to people as quickly as we can – and that’s minutes and not hours. That’s driving us to think everything has to happen now.”

Average walking times over 18 metres (60 feet) in seconds

1) Singapore (Singapore); 10.55
2) Copenhagen (Denmark); 10.82
3) Madrid (Spain); 10.89
4) Guangzhou (China): 10.94
5) Dublin (Ireland); 11.03
6) Curitiba (Brazil); 11.13
7) Berlin (Germany); 11.16
8) New York (United States of America); 12.00
9) Utrecht (Netherlands); 12.04
10) Vienna (Austria); 12.06
11) Warsaw (Poland); 12.07
12) London (United Kingdom); 12.17
13) Zagreb (Croatia); 12.20
14) Prague (Czech Republic); 12.35
15) Wellington (New Zealand); 12.62
16) Paris (France); 12.65
17) Stockholm (Sweden); 12.75
18) Ljubljana (Slovenia); 12.76
19) Tokyo (Japan); 12.83
20) Ottawa (Canada); 13.72
21) Harare (Zimbabwe); 13.92
22) Sofia (Bulgaria); 13.96
23) Taipei (Taiwan): 14.00
24) Cairo (Egypt); 14.18
25) Sana’a (Yemen); 14.29
26) Bucharest (Romania); 14.36
27) Dubai (United Arab Emirates); 14.64
28) Damascus (Syria); 14.94
29) Amman (Jordan); 15.95
30) Bern (Switzerland); 17.37
31) Manama (Bahrain); 17.69
32) Blantyre (Malawi); 31.60


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