Loving this cat - a shadow above the #RiverMole. A Heathrow tube passes through the trees on its way to Boston Manor.

TEDxEHL 2013

Next month I’m going to be making my way to Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland to give a talk at TEDxEHL 2013. Among others, I’m going to have the pleasure of sharing the stage with Caroline Duetsch Kubik, Mela Kocher and Doug Manuel. I’m excited to be taking part and can’t wait to work out what I’m going to say…

 


Circumnavigation of Ealing

On the 28th and 29th of May I’m going to go an expedition to circumnavigate the London Borough of Ealing. I’m curious to discover what’s at the edge of the borough. Feel free to join me.


Departure

I took these pictures during a walk from Arrivals at London Heathrow to Fleet Street in central London. The walk was part of the Urban Story mass exploration of London that I organised last weekend. While the group I was walking with were inspired to keep their eyes open for ‘arrivals’ I decided to look for evidence of ‘departures’. Anything arriving is simultaneously departing, but each of these events and places caught my imagination as having or being departed.


Urban Earth, reborn

remote walk through LondonFor over a year the Urban Earth website has been offline as I’ve focused all of my attention on Mission:Explore.Net. The time has come to bring the network of urban explorers back to life. Over the course of this month I’ve been facilitating a number of explorations across London. So far these have included (un)violent and remote walks. This image was taken in north London during the remote walk. Tomorrow we’re going to be following (un)healthy routes through areas of London that suffer most from depression and suicide.

The last of this series of walks is on March 10th. This is going to be an exciting event involving around 100 people. Split into around 20 groups, we’re going to start in different places outside of London and work our way in to the city’s centre. The Urban Earth website is the perfect way for people to meet, plan and share their explorations.. and so in the next few days reborn it will be. Beyond this big exploration of London my hope is that the community will use the site to organise more inspirational and innovative ways of exploring cities.

Watch this space.


(un)violent exploration of London

I’m very excited about the series of Urban Story walks that I’m organising with The Geography Collective.  Starting a week tomorrow each walk explores social, cultural, economic and other landscapes. The first will navigate through peaks of peace and through valleys of violence. The walk itself will start in Grove ward, Kingston. During 2010/11 this ward in SW London experienced the highest rate of violence against the person (78.7) beyond the central London wards of West End and St James’s where the reaches its destination. These three wards also had the highest rates of reported sexual offences.  Just a short distance from Grove and close to the start of the walk we will pass through Village ward which had the lowest crime rate (4.7) during the same period.

The route is being planned using London’s Ward Atlas and the MurderMap will be available to us too.

SW London Violence Against the Person map extract from the 2010/11 London Ward Atlas. Highlighted in orange is Village ward while Grove is the brightest blue. On this map darker shades correspond with higher rates of violence.

The walk is an opportunity for professional and personal development, meeting new people and creating a memory that you will not forget for a long time. Over 30km we’ll develop new thinking on violence and the city and may decide to create something to (re)present our experiences.

Taking part is free and you’re very welcome to join us. For full details click here.


a (non)violent walk

An invitation to join an UrbanStory (non)violent walk.

Compared to many cities in the world Greater London is peaceful and relatively non-violent place. Within the city their is a mixed and complicated picture in which some people feel constantly at threat while others rarely consider their personal safety. It is the stories of violence and not peace that fill the time and space in the media and for this reason our understanding and sense of our safety is  distorted (sometimes for better and sometimes for worse).

Maps can reveal the lie of cultural landscapes in the same way that spot heights and contours show the shape of physical land. These maps can be used to explore the peaks, valleys, ridges, cliffs and islands of issues that exist in and influence our lives.

UrbanStory is a new project that I am leading to physically explore, social, economic, political and environmental issues and themes. Using current data and mapping I will plan walks through (non)violent, (un)healthy, (un)creative and other ‘hidden’ landscapes that I hope you will join.

The first walk will focus on the theme of (non)violence. The route will be based on the latest data from the London Ward Atlas and the Metropolitan Police Crime Mapping and websites. With amongst the lowest recorded violent crime recorded it will probably start in one of the sub-wards of Cranham in East London and finish in St James’s Park (outside Buckingham Palace) in St James’s ward which has the highest rate of recorded violence against the person in London.

Taking place on Monday 11th July this 35km walk will take about 7 hours, but this will depend on the needs of the group. We will meet at a train station close to the start of the walk for about 11am.

If you would like to take part in this UrbanStory (non)violent walk please contact me here.


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