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Shared Walks
Card Set

a toolkit for dialogue and participation


What is Shared Walks about?

Shared Walks is an initiative that creates encounters by walking in public space. It connects people to walk together, initiates social interactions, and creates possibilities for the appropriation of space and participation in segregated societies. The Card Set is a toolkit prepared by Shared Walks to open this method for use of different organizations and individuals around the world.
couple walking

Civil society organizations, state institutions and private companies working on local issues can use the card set to host a Shared Walks activity for non-profit purposes. It is suitable for use in community building, neighbourhood mapping, local participation, awareness raising, social inclusion, non-formal learning, knowledge sharing, team building, networking, socio-spatial research etc

Shared Walks opens a playful space for the exploration of the environment and others by walking. Participants walk together in pairs, collect and share observations, impressions, thoughts, feelings, memories, stories, associations etc, and map their city from different perspectives. Different types of walks propose minor changes to the way we walk normally to pave the way to an appropriation of places, get in relation to others and trigger self-awareness. You can organize a Shared Walks activity only for the process itself and the experience of participants, but it is also possible to get some additional, concrete outcomes. It is a tool for knowledge production, so you may decide to combine it with interviews or group discussions depending on your context. Additionally, you can use it for neighbourhood mapping, sharing the participant input in collective maps - either physically printed on-site or online.

Any organization or individual who considers the method useful for their purposes can use it for free under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

walking in landscape




Walking has the potential to create social and spatial impact. It enables a deeper understanding of space around us, in built and natural environments, as well as fostering communication and interaction with others. Shared Walks was initiated to this end to create a space for dialogue and participation by walking in cities. It started as a project by Eylem Ertürk and Bernd Rohrauer in the framework of the Social Design_Arts as Urban Innovation Department at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in 2018.

Walking is a very basic and simple action with positive effects on human lives. It has a clear relationship with cardiovascular health, as well as the overall mood, energy level, happiness and self-esteem. But its impact on society has not been limited to physical and psychological health. Artistic, scientific and urban practices have been using walking in different fields of action for a long period. We were inspired and challenged by the variety and extensity of walking practices across disciplines - from ethnography to arts, from urban planning to psychogeography - all around the world. Examples are about but not limited to practices of walking as a tool for visual mapping, visual sociology or professional development; walking performances that appropriate space, develop understanding of people and histories; walking as a tool to revive collective memory and make stories visible; walking projects by artists to raise awareness on issues related to gender, ecology etc.; conferences and tours on different aspects of walking; psychogeographical approaches, artistic practices, experiments and laboratories on walking; art made by walking in landscapes; urban sound walks and action drawings; walking-based pedagogical approaches; walking initiatives based on encounters and knowledge transfer in motion; walking tours with the guidance of marginalized groups; associations, initiatives and municipal representations for walking, and many others researching and displaying the potentials of walking.

Map of partners in Walking Research Labs, Vienna, March - June 2018 Design © Nathalia Portella

Walking Research Laboratories

Researching the question ‘How can we walk with others?’, the initial phase of Shared Walks was designed as Walking Research Laboratories in Vienna in March - June 2018. Including and mixing different approaches from social sciences to artistic research, the main aim was to gain knowledge on different aspects of walking together as well as make participation possible for diverse groups of people in the city. Participants of the labs actively got involved in the process by experimenting different types of walks with someone else, exploring the city with a different perspective and reflecting on the process in questionnaires at the end of walks.

Neighbourhood Mapping

Based on our experience and the evaluation of the initial process, the second phase of Shared Walks focused on local interactions through Neighbourhood Mapping in September - November 2018. Following a collective mapping activity offered within a Wohnstrassen event curated by space & place in the 15. district, it was finally organized for three days within the Urbanize! Festival at Nordbahnhalle in the 2. district in Vienna. We have extended the walking methods from the previous labs and combined them with collective mapping in a neighbourhood. The area was mapped by participants from different perspectives, and the outcomes were collected both on a physical and an online map immediately after the walks.

Shared Walks continues as an independent project as of 2019, opening up its method for the use of other initiatives and the broader public by providing the Card Set developed through the public events organized in collaboration with different organizations in 2018.

onlineMap Outcome of mapping at urbanize09/Vienna18 in online maping tool
analogue map Outcome of mapping at urbanize09/Vienna18 on analogue map


Eylem Ertürk is a researcher, artist and producer living and working in Vienna and Istanbul. She has a background in social design, fine arts photography and cultural management. Since 2005, she has been working on socially engaged artistic practices, local cultural policies and cultural rights in Turkey. Her current work focuses on artistic research on social issues, platforms for urban participation and creative structures for social change. Since 2019, she is a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

Bernd Rohrauer combines his backgrounds from social sciences, artistic practice and social work theories in his mainly collaborative projects dealing with inclusive and exclusive social dynamics in production processes of [social] spaces.

Special Thanks to our former member Nathalia Portella and designer Raphael Volkmer.