Urban Lab13_TheWalkingNeighbourhood

The Walking Neighbourhood: How children, artistic intervention and walking can lead to social change

It can be argued, that the public sphere in Western nations is typically not a welcome habitat for children. Opportunities for children’s independent motilities have become increasingly restrained, so that sightings of children in public spaces are rare. The Walking Neighbourhood hosted by Children is a relational arts project led by Artistic Director, Lenine Bourke, that provokes rethinking of children, childhood and public spaces through children leading unknown adults on walks of local neighbourhoods. Since 2012, this project has taken place in multiple cities in Australia, Asia and Europe.

Drawing from data gathered from The Walking Neighbourhood hosted by Children walks, this Urban Laboratory invites you to consider how children experience public spaces. To experience what they notice and care about. This will happen vicariously through audio-recordings of child walk hosts from different locales listened to through headsets and maybe an opportunistic meeting (if we are really fortunate) with child/ren, whilst walking the surrounds of Vienna Rathaus. The intersection of sensory input from multiple locales and multiple voices (i.e., child guide, adult guide and adult walker’s internal dialogue) at once will be explored, noticing what is privileged or foregrounded or layered at different moments.

Duration: 3 hours
Meeting point: Vienna City Hall
Guide: Louise Phillips, The University of Queensland

This Urban Lab will be accessible and barrier free. The Urban Lab involves listening to audio-recordings and thus bears difficulties for hearing-impaired participants.

Louise Phillips is an academic and a professional storyteller with expertise in early years education, children’s rights and arts based methodology. For over 28 years Louise has worked with children across a broad range of arts and education contexts. Since 2012, Louise has been researching the Walking Neighbourhood. Her research deals with children’s citizenship, walking as a methodology and storytelling.

Photo Credit: Andrew Hickey