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Motivated by traffic congestion, excessive energy use and poor health outcomes, planning and public health researchers have developed an extensive body of research that examines walking and other active transport as well as walking for recreation. In different discussions, walking has become a newly interesting subject and method to understand urban (and non urban) life, and a growing number of researchers have sought to understa nd mobility, the social experience and functions of walking and its cultural meanings. These areas of research rarely overlap. The latter has the potential for enriching the research about active travel and physical activity and, through doing so, suggest more effective pathways to healthier and less energy intensive life patterns. This project first examines these divergent literatures. It then uses New Orleans to discuss both the pedestrian improvements and the vibrant public life that New Orleans sustained without the new pedestrian infrastructure. It concludes with a discussion about pedestrian oriented research agenda.