Psychologist Richard Wiseman surveyed walking speeds in cities around the globe. Singapore, Copenhagen, and Madrid were the speediest urban centers, with pedestrians in all three pounding out 60 feet in under 11 seconds. New Yorkers took a full extra second to cover the same distance–a respectable showing for the US, but us New Yorkers’ ranking of 8th overall was lower than I expected.
Walkers in Bern, Switzerland, and Manama, Bahrain, took a leisurely 17 seconds and change to saunter 60 feet, while in Blantyre, Malawi—the slowest city surveyed—even an expansive 30 seconds wasn’t quite enough time to make it to the finish. Good for you, people of Blantyre. At least somewhere in the world, people are stopping and smelling the roses (or whatever lovely endemic flowers might line the streets there).
Even more interesting, the researchers compared their results to a similar survey from the early 1990s and found that on average, walking pace around the globe is now 10% faster than it was then. Unfortunately, this trend hasn’t yet reached the guy who gets out of the subway in front of me every morning.
Check out the full list of 32 cities and their time scores here.