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conference on walking and livable communities

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Saskia de Wit, walk21,

Jaar: 7-11 October 2019
Locatie: Rotterdam

perception in motion

The City of Rotterdam hosted the 20th International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities in partnership with Walk21. Walk21 is the international charity dedicated to ensuring the right to walk and opportunity to enjoy. It is supported and encouraged for everyone across the world. Walk21 started in 2000 with a conference in London and the conference has been held every year since, in different cities around the world. 

In the varied programme I presented one of the break out sessions, on Appraising and Communicating Walkable Futures. This session proposed alternative ways for planning, creating, and communicating space for walking.

My talk 'Perception in motion; exploring alternative research and design techniques for walking experiences' advocated to go beyond creating space for walking,  but creating space for experiences in time. It explored alternative techniques for research and design that take the first-hand perspective view of the subject as starting point and do justice to the multisensory and time-based qualities of walking.

In conclusion, I proposed 2 arguments: 

1. The health effect of restorative experiences is vastly underestimated. 

Thus, creating stimulating environments for walking as an immersive experience (rather than primarily a physical exercise) should be advocated much more. 

2. Scores are the means par excellence to create good walking environments.