I was delighted to be asked to speak at TEDxEHL last month at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. I used my 15 minutes to argue that we are currently going through an Exploration Revolution, but that we’re not making the most of it… especially in schools. The talk takes place during the 125th anniversary of National Geographic, a year in which many people have been asking the society “what’s left to explore?“. This short video answers that question and more.
The latest edition of Ecological Urbanism is terrible doorstop. The first edition is 655 pages, smells good, weighs 2kg and keeps most of my other books in their place. Despite its strengths, it can’t do video… something the latest version on the book can do. The original hardback book by Mohsen Mostafavi and Gareth Doherty features hundreds of photos that I took while walking across Mexico City, Mumbai and London for Urban Earth, a project in urban exploration that I started in 2008. Out today, the new version splits the book into digestible chapters and includes over 15,000 photographs within the 3 Urban Earth films that I made by taking pictures every 8 steps while crossing these massive cities. You’ll find the films in volume 2, Anticipate, and are accompanied by a short piece of text that Kye Askins and I wrote. I’m delighted to see the films come to life in the book. I hope you enjoy it.
The Ecological Urbanism project has a Facebook page that you can follow here.
Can you imagine living for a month entirely on things that can only be found within a day’s walk of your home? This is what Jess Allen did over the last month and I’ll be asking her why she did this on Twitter tomorrow night.
Jess describes herself as a “stereotypical dreadlocked-vegetarian-eco-feminist-environmentalist-caravan/yurt-dwelling aerial dancer, walking artist and academic hedgesprite with a horse” She’s currently doing a second PhD in performance, developing the practice of tracktivism with a President’s Doctoral Scholarship from the University of Manchester.
I’ll be asking Jess some questions about her work and experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #guerrillageography from 8pm (London time) tomorrow. I hope you can join us.
A couple of days ago I asked a few people on Urban Earth and Twitter if they would be interested in taking part in #Urban100, a project that I’m calling an open expedition because it’s going to last a year and anyone can join in. The idea is simple, to collaboratively explore urban places by taking 100 photographs over a 500 metre walk. Using the same stop-motion approach that I used in the Urban Earth films we’ll be able to create films that zoom through the urban landscapes, creating a unique representation of our urban habitats.
We’ve asked that all photos submitted #Urban100 are under a creative commons license so that anyone can edit their own versons of the films.
So far collaborators have said that they’ll be doing #Urban100 explorations in Bristol, Bangkok, London, Glasgow, Falmouth, Toulouse, Porto and Edinburgh with more being added and suggested all the time.
I love this short film by the Light Surgeons.
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.
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.
URBAN EARTH is a project that I started back in 2008. The project involves walking across urban areas like this short video explains. It was shot by SUSO* in 2008 shortly after I arrived by from walking across Mexico City, Mumbai and London along with a number of cool people who joined me. I’ve just got permission from SUSO* to put it up. I hope you find it interesting.