Call for Papers: Walking Well? Stepping Through and Beyond the Pandemic

a yellow flowering bush next to a brick wall, which has "Yellow Corydalis" written on it in chalk, with an arrow pointing to the shrub
Claire Collison Yellow Corydalis
a yellow flowering bush next to a brick wall, which has "Yellow Corydalis" written on it in chalk, with an arrow pointing to the shrub
Claire Collison – Yellow Corydalis

Call for Papers: Walking Well? Stepping Through and Beyond The Pandemic
RGS-IGB Conference
30 August – 2 September 2022
Newcastle UK / online Session
Conveners: Dee Heddon (University of Glasgow) and Morag Rose (University of Liverpool)

This proposed interdisciplinary session seeks to pay close attention to how the Covid-19 pandemic changed walking habits in the UK and beyond. Lockdowns and other measures restricted mobilities in many ways, including at the everyday pedestrian level. Emerging evidence suggests newfound appreciations of the affordances and joy in walking for some alongside serious tensions, contradictions and deepening inequalities in who walks where, when and how. Indicative suggestions for papers include, but are not limited to:

· How local or national legislation and prohibitions shaped walking during the pandemic

· Walking alone and / or with friends, family, neighbours or in other groups

· Barriers to walking and how they were impacted by the pandemic. These could include: structural inequalities, health, disability, caring responsibilities, experiences of harassment, fear, environmental and other factors

· Community led initiatives such as window art trails and treasure hunts which emerged in response to the pandemic

· Embodied and intersectional experiences of walking during Covid-19

· Creative walking, exploration and walking art during Covid-19

· How walking specific neighbourhoods, streets or other locations was transformed

· Initiatives to encourage walking for physical health or mental well-being during the pandemic

· Remote, distant, digital or online walking initiatives

· The introduction of new / temporary pedestrian active travel infrastructure or obstacles

· Walking as part of a work, volunteering or caring role

· How walking could help build sustainability or aid recovery and resilience

We are inviting papers of approximately 15 minutes in length so there will be plenty of time for discussion. We welcome suggestions for alternative formats of presentation of a similar duration. Please let us know whether you plan to attend in person or would prefer to present virtually / online. At the moment we are planning a hybrid format but this will depend on participant’s preferences. We are committed to making our session as accessible as possible so please let us know if there is anything we can do to support your participation. Our definition of walking aims to be inclusive of all bodies and includes assistive technology such as wheelchairs, mobility scooters, sticks and orthotics.

Please send an abstract of around 150 words to mlrose@liverpool.ac.uk by 5pm Tuesday 15th March including your organisational affiliation if you have one and your preference of in person or online participation.