Two steps to a longer life

North End

1. Walk: “Time spent walking, then, is utterly free. It’s time you would have spent dead.” [Alan Durning]

2. Better yet, wander. Peter Bosselmann writes in Urban Transformation that complex routes feel longer, more enjoyable, and more satisfying. The study design used two short routes on the Berkeley campus of the same length, the same time, the same climb, the same number of passerby: one up the City Beautiful mall, the other winding behind the same buildings. Bosselmann quotes William James’s 1892 text on Psychology: “A time filled with varied and interesting experiences seems short in passing, but long as we look back. On the other hand a tract of time empty of experiences seems long in passing, but in retrospect short.”

(The discussion is on pages 187-189, citing Emelie Cheng and Yu Cao, “Time on Campus: A Study of Visual Elements,” 2004, and a map of the two routes is at Planetizen.)