Lunchtime walks

This gallery contains 4 photos.

  The Dental Public Health Group has recently been enjoying  fresh air and interesting local sights in a series of lunchtime walks  from Torrington Place. The photos below were taken last Wednesday (27th September) when they walked to the British Museum and then on to Lincoln’s Inn, incorporating some of the Jubilee Walkway. If you’d … Continue reading

Sideways walks with a donkey

At the Geovation event described in the previous post, I met my friend Andrew Stuck from Rethinking Cities. He had just returned from the Sideways festival 2012, a 4-week walking expedition of more than 350kms across the breadth of Belgium. On the expedition a multimedia-carrying donkey that mapped air quality and noise along the route was joined by several artists, whose intention (as I understand from Andrew and from the blurb on the website) was to demonstrate that walking trails can be more than a means to an end. I don’t completely get it but the website states :

“Far more than a connection to move from point A to point B, a trail is tantamount to a movement, an act of crossing, the performance of the passage. Sideways postulates no destinations; only variations of stillness and movement. Art on site, but occurring along lines (of movement) rather than situated at specific locations.” 

Andrew summarises his experience as follows:  “There were about 9 or 10 of us who walked for a month with up to 30 – 40 artists joining us at various points.  There was no mountain scenery, wilderness or bears to contend with, instead a lot of suburbia, with houses with neatly trimmed gardens adorned with kitsch flamingos and gnomes…The walking group didn’t ever really become a homogenous community…but I have made some good friends and discovered other avenues to follow”. The donkey was unavailable for comment (and I don’t speak Flemish) but you can read more about the very interesting organisation from which it was deployed here.


Addressing community transport needs through geographic data

Today I attended a Geovation workshop about addressing community transport needs through geographic data, skills and expertise. One of the schemes showcased was Cyclescape, helping cycling groups around the UK consider and improve cycling infrastructure. Cyclescape will be available later this year. Another presentation which caught my attention was MySociety’s FixMyTransport Mobile App which makes reporting a transport problem, like a broken seat on a bus, hassle-free and on-the-spot, and ensures the reporting and response are public so the transport company is held to account. Also, there was an excellent presentation from Mission:Explore which, through playful challenges, aims to increase use of the 13,000 miles of national cycle paths available for free to the public. The project is being launched in October.


I know all about Sky Rides, and the various local spin offs, which are aimed at encouraging cyclists of every age and ability. But SkyCycle is news to me. SkyCycle is a proposal by Exterior Architecture to expand cycling in London by sending cyclists skywards along the side of raised railway tracks in a network that hooks up mainline stations in London. I like heights and undoubtedly the views would be spectacular. However, will shifting cyclists out of the way of motorised traffic make London a healthier or happier place? I think reducing segregation between cars, cyclists and pedestrians with shared space might be more civilised.