Manic Street Walkers

Manic Street Walkers (MSW) is a walk-for-pleasure program launched in 2011 by C2O library & collabtive. It promotes walking for the purpose of exploring and enjoying the city. We bring local “experts”—residents, artists, researchers, etc.—to share their insights. But participants also actively contribute as explorer, reporter, photographer, etc.

Anitha Silvia, Surabaya, Indonesia

Manic Street Walkers aims to generate interests among local residents and visitors alike to explore the city on foot, interact with the surrounding environment, and thus popularising it as a mode of transportation.

Surabaya used to be one of the busiest port cities in Southeast Asia in the early 20th century. Now Surabaya is Indonesia's second largest city with an area of 333 sq km and a population of 4 million people. However, within the past couple of decades, public transport has declined and worsened. Frustrated by the lack of viable public transport and facilities, citizens have to be more and more dependent on their own vehicles. The number of private motor vehicles has rapidly increased, further aggravating pollution and congestion.

Despite the citywide, visually-enhanced campaign of Surabaya as a green & clean garden city, the highly-polished pedestrian facilities and bus stops remain underutilised. There has been no accompanying development of transportation network and outreach about the importance of walking and public transport. Through Manic Street Walkers, we encourage locals and visitors alike to walk to explore, enjoy, and learn about their urban environment.

- Walking Tour
Since 2011 MSW has designed 30 thematic walking tour routes, ranging from the banks of the river Kali Mas (±20 km), the alleys of the Arab Quarter, and exploring graffiti in Surabaya. Some tours are also designed with architectural (colonial, Chinatown, Arab District) and design themes. The tour is organised once a month, open to the public, and free of charge. The tour duration ranges from 2 to 8 hours depending on the theme.

- Maps
We create some maps related to our walking routes. Maps include findings, important sites, and other urban phenomena. These maps are archived and published in our urban knowledge platform, Ayorek!

- Stories
The findings and the stories that we encounter are then recorded in the form of texts, photos, and videos, which are then disseminated through websites, social media, and mass media outlets like radio, television, and newspaper. This generates further interests from more people and media to join the tour, learn and share their knowledge about the city.

- Talk, Exhibition, Screening, Workshop
The walking tour are sometimes organised in tandem with other events such as discussions, exhibitions, workshops, and film screenings, in collaboration with other organisations. We are interested in discussing the history of the city, urban issues, architecture, sports, public transportation, art, design, and other knowledge related to the city of Surabaya.

- Merchandise
We also produce merchandise such as T-shirts, tote bag, postcard, maps, and stickers to promote these campaigns.

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