PosterPDF Available

Urban walking tours as a tool to Connect Communities and green our cities



E-Poster selected for Ecocity World Summit 2023, The Barbican, London, UK. June 6-8 2023, Theme: "Connecting Communities" - How can cities be more sustainable and just? This question guided the 3-year EU-funded UrbanA project on “Urban Arenas for Sustainable and Just Cities” (2019-2021), which took up the challenge of synthesizing and brokering knowledge generated in previously funded research and innovation projects that deal with approaches tackling urban sustainability and justice. As part of this process, a Community of Practice was created to facilitate a growing body of “City Makers” to engage on this topic together. When the academic term ended the Robert Bosch Foundation offered a small funding grant for the Community of Practice’s continuation and further experimentation into 2023, coordinated by ICLEI, the network for Local governments for sustainability. The author was involved throughout both stages described and played a lead role developing the Community of Practice. Based on Participatory Action Research and Self Ethnography methodologies, the author shares insights in this paper from experiments to expand and diversify the Community of Practice, using Network Weaving to stitch together various projects to connect communities.
Urban walking tours as a tool to
Connect Communities and green our cities
Duncan Crowley, ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal
ECOCITY world summit 2023: 6-8 June 2023, Barbican Centre, London
Degrowth (June 2019)
Duncan Crowley: European Network for Community-Led Initiatives on
Climate Change and Sustainability (ECOLISE), Communications Office
PhD student in Architecture of Contemporary Metropolitan Territories
(ISCTE), Lisbon, Portugal & Degrowth Portugal +
Ecocity Lisboa (Sep 2019) UrbanA (Nov 2019) Rede Rotas Viva (Sep 2022)
Posters (A4)
Rede Rotas Vivas,World Rivers Day 2022 UrbanA tour of Mouraria, Lisbon, 2019 Rede Rotas Vivas,Zambujal (Jan 2023)
The initial aim was to stitch together
different parts of the city and
communities active therein.Secondary
objectives included;create an
interesting and appealing social event to
connect different communities (local,
academic, activist, friends, new
migrants);deep investigation of different
territories to find out what groups are
active on the ground;invite different
actors to co-create awalking tour where
anew audience will be brought to their
project or social struggle and they get to
tell their own story;provoke adynamic
through the event that seeks interaction
with residents on the day, to gain
insights in histories, local struggles, or
hopes for an improved future;map local
citizen initiatives and add them to the
online Ibero-American network
mapping community CIVICS.CC.
Seeking to connect communities to
enable community-led regenerative
transformation of local territories by the
people that live there, this Lisbon based
action research in recent years developed
aparticular methodology based around
local walking tours.Working with a
number of both formal and informal
communities and projects (Ecocity
Lisbon, UrbanA, Degrowth Portugal,
Umundu,We Are Nature, European Day
for Sustainable Communities, Rede Rotas
Vivas,World Rivers Day), the walks were
open public free events that focused on
different local areas in the wider
metropolitan area of Lisbon.
Some tours had an experimental aspect,
knowing that areas might be blocked,
and therefor dangerous, but on these
occasions participants were warned of
the risks.For other tours, astrong nature
component existed, following urban
rivers, or streams (some now hidden in
underground channels), to invite agroup
visioning of what amore regenerative
territory might look like.In some cases
involving the academic UrbanA project,
the walk was finished with agroup talk,
where representatives from different
projects were invited to explore dynamics
of what ajust and sustainable city might
look like.In recent months, Cascais
council awarded asmall “Reinvent your
neighborhoodfunding grant to the
“Rede Rotas Vivas(Network of living
routes) project to develop this
methodology, focusing on the 15km long
river basin of the Ribeira das Marianas”.
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