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Creative Urban Methods

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Walking-Thinking

Event: Open City Initiative Seminar

What is an open city? What makes a city open? When do we experience a city as open? 

How we answer these questions not only depends on how we define openness, but also on our personal experiences of and in the city and neighbourhood that we live in, especially in this current time of the covid-19 pandemic. In this two session walking-thinking workshop we experimented with exploring the open city by walking in our own neighborhoods through a lens of ‘openness’.  Starting from Richard Sennett’s article ‘The Open City’ the participants co-created a legend: a set of lenses/ concepts that participants associated with openness. Then we divided the group in duo’s. Each duo would walk with the same lens in their own neighborhood. With markers of different thicknesses, participants drew alternative maps of the open city during their walk. In the second session we reflected on each other’s maps and discussed how openness manifests in our direct surroundings and what the value of openness for our cities might entail.

“Openness can be scary and it needs constant adjustment”

(participant)

image: instructions for the guided walk

With our walking-thinking method, we hope to offer a different perspective from which to explore the ‘open city’, taking  an embodied, experiential lens to learn about our immediate environments .

image: alternative maps