In a peer-reviewed study, published in 2020, a team of psychologists and neuroscientists set out to correlate the extent to which individuals wander from their usual haunts with their level of happiness. The traditional City pub has been under pressure for some years now, but this will take things to a completely new level. The next few years will be boom time in London for anyone running a building firm as cheap labour and high demand. Demand for buying the smaller ‘pied a terre’ properties that already abound there may increase significantly, as those fleers decide to retain a convenient bolt-hole in town. Here’s some of the consequences we might speculate will happen as a result of this sudden demand shock. The exercise works just as well in nature, where you might go looking for a trillium in bloom or an outcrop of columnar basalt; it’s always the journey that matters, not the destination. Looking past the next few years, if London property prices fall then young workers will take advantage of the situation to move back in and generate value however it’s done in the future, acting as a brake on any falls. This article h as been done by GSA Content G en erator DE MO.
I was tempted to compare the effect of this to wars, but this graph of house prices compared to wages stopped me in my tracks. As property costs fall, London wages might be expected to fall, as the pool of staff to compete with goes beyond those that need or want to live in London. You may want a schedule of the ferries, and a sturdy pocket map (so much better than peering at a small screen in bright sunlight while holding your phone out on a busy street). Geolocation map data can be coarse enough to hide a 15-foot cliff. A few well-chosen items in your pack can make your wandering safer and more comfortable. However, I’m here to propose that, if done right, wandering can actually make us happier. The outcome: those who ranged widely and unexpectedly were happier. Wandering sounds unproductive, yet research suggests that people who do it are happier. So I came up with what might have looked like a disorganised and wasteful method of research. Of course, the best rangers have a strong sense of mission founded in the protection of the places where they work and the people who come to enjoy them.
Later, an international artists’ collaborative refined this practice as the dérive (literally, ‘drifting’) focusing on a ‘psychogeography’, or how they experienced the places they encountered. Ellen Mueller, a Minnesota-based artist and educator, teaches this tradition in her course Walking as Artistic Practice. Following a century-and-a-half-long tradition of wandering as an art practice, try playing the flâneur, an idler roaming the streets as a detached observer who was the literary brainchild of the 19th-century author Charles Baudelaire and the 20th-century philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin. In the 1920s, in a tart critique of fine arts as luxury goods for rich industrialists who profited from the slaughter of the First World War, antiwar Surrealist and Dada artists organised group walks as an art form that could not be subverted to decorate the walls of mansions. A hiker who wandered off the trail is the opening scene of many a wilderness search and rescue narrative that ends badly. Where in the 109 million acres of designated wilderness in the United States was the story? With GPS it will soon be debatable – or already is – whether you can get lost in the wilderness. The more you wander, the better you’ll know the potential routes a lost hiker may have followed, or how to get somewhere fast to save a life.
Know what to do if you get lost. It does not therefore require a Change of Use Planning Application.’ I don’t know how many offices this would cover, nor can I shake the suspicion that it can’t be that easy. The effect on residential property prices in Central London itself is difficult to gauge, as I don’t have a ready model. ‘Please don’t wander off again’ is the example of ‘wander’ as an intransitive verb in my Oxford English Dictionary. My favourite celebration of wandering in modern English literature is Virginia Woolf’s essay ‘Street Haunting: A London Adventure’ (1927). Even before I first read it, an experienced traveller told me a way to get to know a strange city: think of something to look for, then pursue the quest to whatever random places and enquiries with locals it takes you. In ‘Street Haunting’, Woolf walks halfway across London to a stationer’s shop to purchase a single lead pencil.