Podcast Power in the City E01 – Talking about Walking

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Join us for episode 1, as we meander the paths of Oldham, past, present and future. Find out what makes Oldham folk walk and wheel and how we could make it even easier for people to leave their cars behind. This episode features a walking hairdresser, Oldham’s transport history in under 10 min and many pairs of walking boots. 

When we first started working on this podcast, we asked ourselves: “What might be the most basic, most simple, most common zero carbon activity?” And we immediately thought: Walking! Or better ‘walking and wheeling’, which includes all the ways in which people get about at a pedestrian speed.

So our local researcher Melissa and episode producer Britt hit the streets (or more like the sidewalks, crossings and walking paths) of Oldham and listened to people Talking about Walking. We wanted to find out why people choose to walk and what might be good about it and what is hard. We wanted to know what might make walking easier and what local people are doing to create better conditions for themselves. We were collecting walking stories.

In this episode you will hear from Kate about the 24,000 steps she walks every day and from Bryn, a hairdresser from Delph who grew up walking pretty much everywhere and who asks himself where we lost our path to accommodate pedestrians. Roger from Oldham Archives gives us a history of Oldham roads, Ruji and Morag talk about accessibility and a cultural shift in walking and episode host Hannah and producer Britt discuss what initiatives are developing in GM to make our villages, towns and cities more walkable.

Call to action

Want to get involved? Tell us about a great idea or initiative that gets people walking or wheeling in your place. Just drop an email to powerinthecity@carbon.coop or contact us on social media. We’ll do a shout out for you in one of our next episodes.

Episode credits

Power in the City is produced by Carbon Coop.
This episode was written and produced by Britt Jurgensen.
Host: Hannah Knox
Local research & interviews: Melissa Kelly Shore
Sound design & postproduction: Barry Han

Interviews with:
Kate Crew
Bryn Chapman
Roger Ivens (Oldham Local Studies and Archives)
Ruji Surjan (Westwood and Coldhurst Women’s Association)
Morag Rose (The Loiterers Resistance Movement)
Richard Lambert (Fare City)
Chris Maylor (Discovery Walks)
Mike Dodd (Talking about my Generation)
Pharmacy Short Walks participants
Andrew, Isaac, Nathan and William from Forces 4 Nature
Philippa Whittaker from the Wednesday Walkers

With special thanks to: 
Oldham Local Studies and Archives
The OBC Millennium Centre Oldham
Sholver Senior Youth Group
Sholver Travel Futures

Power in the City is funded by the Electricity North West Powering our Communities Fund, ICLEI Action Fund and UCL Grand Challenges.

Find out more

Summary of relevant local data here

Walking Groups and Initiatives
GM Walking
Wednesday Walkers
Sholver Travel Futures
Forces for Nature group for young people
Muslim Hikers
Westwood and Coldhurst Women’s Association
GM Walking to school campaign
The Loiterers Resistance Movement

Maps and Guides
Oldham and Saddleworth discovery walks
Self-led walk around High- and Low-Crompton
Northern Roots Circular Walks
Oldham Centre Circular Trail

The bigger picture
Zero Carbon Britain Hub Future Scenario 

Learn about Urban Design principles
Living Streets
Natural Walking Cities

Friends of the Earth
Transport for Quality of Life

Great ideas
The 15 min Walking City
School Streets

Arts and creativity
Walking Artist Network
Walk Listen Create
Walk Create: The Walkbook

Artwork by Roy McCarthy