towards canine equity in the city

Now is the time for the urban dog.


One of the most immediate cultural distinctions a traveler notices in France is omnipresent,well-behaved dogs, often quite unlike their detached American cousins (perhaps including my own). In a matter of a few weeks, I have assembled a mental diary of locational examples that illuminated the integrated role of multi-modal canine life.

Examples included sitting on adjacent train seats, in restaurant diners’ laps and on park benches next to owners. Not to mention my almost tripping over many, child-like, aisle-shopping companions.

These observations remind me, frankly, that we often regulate away the opportunity for certain, traditional life-enhancements in the interest of public health, something that probably made sense in a more feral age.



But if we are truly on the way to inevitable urbanization, I vote for the extension of the mixed use, sharable spirit to enable more equity for the urban canine.

I, for one, don’t mind sitting next to a well-behaved poodle, or shopping with dogs in both the Gucci in Cannes, as well as the Guccy Wawa located a few towns away.

Images composed by the author in Saint Tropez, Cannes and Fréjus, France. Click on each image for more detail. © 2009-2014 myurbanist. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy.

For more information on the role of personal experience in understanding the changing city, see Urbanism Without Effort, an e-book from Island Press.

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