It’s hard to be down when you’re up.

I chose to respond to Walking in the City by Michel De Certeau. I find the language used to write the piece is overly wordy and complex. Because of the way the piece is written, I didn’t find it relevant or engaging, it was a struggle to read the whole piece. But the ideas behind the piece, of being “lifted out of the city’s grasp” and of being a part of the city are worth pondering. Though, as the title suggest, he prefers walking in the city instead of viewing it. The content is relatable to my own experiences, I find walking through and exploring a city by foot is much more interesting than observing it from a tall building. I found his comment on surveys of route thought provoking because I take specific routes in my morning commute to pass-by certain parks and stores. He argues that pedestrians create the soul of the city, even though city planners have tried to determine certain attributes of it. “The act of walking is to the urban system what the speech act is to language or to the statements uttered.” By walking through the city, spatial practice is manipulated, defined and redefined.

Walking in the City by Michel de Certeau


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