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13 May 2020

CITYMAKERS Keep Wuhan Walking project

How can you re-create your feeling of a liveable city, if you cannot walk the streets anymore? During the lockdown in Wuhan, CITYMAKERS China-Europe peers developed the “Memory Walk Map-Toolkit”,  a downloadable toolkit to record and recreate city walks connected to personal memories.

The method of Personal Memory Mapping enables people to recreate a city or place from their memory. By drawing an imaginary walk through their city, it enables the volunteers to drift through the spaces in their city, rediscovering them and revisiting moments they have experienced. The Memory maps are a way of combining objective knowledge of places in addition to subjective perceptions and experiences of those places.

At the kick-off meeting of the 2020 CITYMAKERS Accelerator program at C*SPACE in Berlin, one of the CITYMAKERS group's peers, Yang Fan from Wuhan - founder of China Endangered Culture Protectors – was not able to join due to the shutdown of the city. While the original ambition was to extend the CECP’s WUHAN ALLEY WALK program, that intends to connect people with each other and with their city’s culture through the means of walks, the lockdown-situation changed our calling question: How can you still experience a city as liveable when you cannot walk the streets anymore?

Out of a strong feeling of solidarity we started the initiative “Keep Wuhan Walking” with the ‘MEMORY WALK MAP’– tool kit as part of it. At that time we couldn’t (or did not want to?!) imagine that just 6 weeks later ‘WE ARE ALL WUHAN’. There is no longer ‘China over there’ and ‘Europe over here’ – through globalisation we are all interconnected. We are one eco-system. That is beautiful and it is powerful and any sense. While we now have to slow down our pace and literally stop walking for a while, let us still keep walking in further doing the important 2 things: First, keep RELATING and CONNECTING! That will strengthen our resilience. Within the CITYMAKERS-program one of our credos always was that “building relations to cities and to each other is equally important for building livable cities than building infrastructure.”

More about the Keep Wuhan Walking project

CITYMAKERS China-Europe is an intermediary platform bringing together inspired people to co-create novel forms for livable cities. It is a program for global learning and understanding initiated by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and hosted by the private agency CONSTELLATIONS International. CITYMAKERS is a cross-sectoral interdisciplinary network of about 200 people from China and Europe: from architects to city planners and artists, entrepreneurs, municipal leaders and academics addressing the question: How can we learn, act and innovate together across boundaries for the purpose of livable cities?