Did we find love in Den Haag?

The bright chilly weather drew paticipants into the picturesque residential streets of Scheveningen, the seaside resort and suburb of Den Haag the historic capital city of the Netherlands.  Two walkshops (mobile workshops) on consecutive days revealed a range of elements that contribute to the warm feelings of romantic love of a city.

Scheveningen has some delightful and charming residential streets, trafficked by bicycles rather than cars, thereby remaining far quieter and calmer than some of the Hague’s busier streets. No street is more than a few minutes walk from the impressive sea front and sandy beach, although this autumn considerable construction work on the sea wall does detract from the seaside stroll.

Andrew Stuck led two romantic walkshops on consecutive days of the Walk21 conference – celebrating the fifth Walk21 conference at which the romantic walkshops have formed a key and entertaining element.  The discerning particpants braved a chilly wind to seek out love in this city.

The walkshop process involves using each of one’s senses to audit the surroundings – and Andrew hands out propmpts, inlcuding bags of scent and musical instruments.  Participants pair up to jot down notes and every 15 minutes or so come together to share their discoveries – written up on a portable white board and photographed.

The romantic walkshops go hand-in-hand with the Romantic Ribbons initiative in which we ask members of the public to recommend urban places, spaces and walks that inspire romance, and to write a post card as if the are that place enticing others to visit. Following up form a successful exhibition of postcards at the London Fetival of Architecture, a number of postcards were on display at the Walk21 conference, and drew interest from delegates as far afield as Australia, Brazil and Croatia – truly an ABC of romance.

Check this  Google map to read some of the entries.

The Romantic Ribbons initiative ran from 2006 – 2011. This article previously appeared on the Rethinking Cities website.