ISSN : 2266-6060

Healthy Mobility

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We have often written about it here, street signs are fascinating objects for whom is interested in the scriptural shaping of the world. Essential supports of the demand for mobility that characterizes our urban settings, they take a part in a global functionalization of the city by marking it with more or less explicit mots d’ordre. Turn to the right, no overtaking, stop, let go. We do know that these urban signs have various registers. First of all, of course, they are a matter of planning: they organize spaces and the entities that move in it. Sorting out then operates both ways: signage marks the differences between several species of space but also between several species of moving entities. Such a process may occur for the sake of a democratic sharing of public settings, but it may also be done for security reasons. And recently, efforts have been made to invent specific signs in order to favor more upright practices from the population. Ecology is here generally at stake: signboards have been put here and there to encourage the use of public transportation, others are dedicated to the cyclists and their ‘soft’ mobility. In London, in the same spirit, a pedestrian signage has been conceived to facilitate the practice of walking.

The sign presented here is also a pedestrian one. But it comes under a slightly different domain. There is a first clue about that: it does not stand directly in the street, and does not hang on a building’s wall either. It is attached on the window of a restaurant. This sign is sure made to encourage walking since it informs about the amount of time that separate us from Le Jardin du Luxembourg or Les Invalides. But it does not do that in order to reduce our carbon footprint or the quality of Paris’ air. The sign is here for the sake of our own body, which we know we can maintain in good shape by regularly practicing a non-violent activity such as walking. Here is a signage which does nor come from the Ministry of Transportation, neither from the city council, but from the Ministry of Health. ‘Moving is easy’, does its over-title read, and we can see a brand new horizon of innovative mots d’ordre arising with such sanitary signboards. We are impatiently waiting for the new ones that will enable us to find, during our pedestrian trips, the shops where we shall buy, with the less detours possible, the five fruits and vegetables that are also essential to our daily well-being.