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.
For 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.
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.
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.