Engaging Communities Through Walking Art – Rotterdam


A guided Walkshop with Sara Hayes as part of Walk21 Rotterdam Conference 2019 Walk Started & Ended – De Doelen, Schouwburgplein 50, 3012 CL Rotterdam, Netherlands. Wednesday 9th October 2019 – 10.15am – 12.15pm

The Challenge?

Create, design and promote a ‘Walk as Art’ in Rotterdam, from the UK, deliver on arrival.

Creating the Walk

This participatory Walk as Art was designed to investigate the historical and contemporary use of the city centre, observing how communities affect place, and how art can influence architecture and vice versa.

The Walk

Fourteen people took part in the walk, from locations including; Netherlands, Sweden, London, Scotland, Switzerland, Asia and Cuba.

Inviting those attending to use their senses as we walked the route learning to interpret the spaces in a new way; to see, hear smell and absorb the environment, to re-evaluate the everyday.

We walked and talked, and at intervals stopped and took part in discussions inspired by questions prepared to encourage dialogue at a number of community project sites along the route, discussing:

  • The effect on the community of development, architecture and designed public spaces.
  • How people use the spaces in the city.
  • How we can influence urban planning though art and walking.
  • Ecologically sound use of spaces in the city, re-purposing of buildings, and how people interact with spaces though art and creativity.


  • A pop-up exhibition of the drawing work of the group at the conference centre on our return.
  • Interaction of the people in the group around the four-mile route.
  • Positive feedback from the group in feedback book. (See quotes below.)
  • A group member wrote-up and submitted a presentation report about the walk as part of the conference.
  • Student attendees got involved, and gained insight into how to use walking for other means.

You can find the full write up of this project on the blog here:

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