Combining techniques devised while working with communities in the UK, for both young and old, Andrew Stuck from Rethinking Cities, conducted a series of workshops with officers from local authorities in and around Coburg, in Melbourne, Australia.
Some 30 local authority community engagement officers joined Andrew to explore the applicability of various techniques, that Andrew has honed when facilitating groups to establish what they want from their community. Much of the workshops were conducted standing up – many wished to have undertaken a walk, but circumstances made that impossible, instead Andrew took them on a virtual journey, leaving their homes and crossing the street, so that each participant could appreciate the “super-mobility” quality of walking as the superior mode of transport.
The workshops were hosted by Anne Gartner, Senior Housing Strategist at Moreland City Council, who herself has been walking Melbourne – for many years teaching a University course on the topic. Anne had met Andrew at a “Mental Speed Bumps” workshop given by Australian, David Engwicht, that preceded the Copenhagen Walk21 Conference in 2005. Engwicht’s writings had inspired both Anne and Andrew, and sharing similar ideas around encouraging walking, children’s independent mobility and playfulness in our cities had brought them together.
This article previously appeared on the Rethinking Cities website