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Town Trails; or how to learn about a city on foot

13/09/2019
por Estelle DUPRAT
Idioma: EN
Document available also in: FR

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People's participation in the metropolitan project, even when it is sought by communities, is made difficult by a lack of metropolitan culture. However the existence of a metropolitan citizenship is both a political and an important societal issue.

In their daily movements, inhabitants are circulating between town and nature, between commercial, residential and industrial centres, or over waste ground. Town trails are an emerging practice which opens up a new creation space at the crossroads of the realms of planning, art, tourism and ecology.


A Town Trail is not just a walkway. It is a combination of 3 inseparable activities: the route itself (developed in a strategic manner with different areas); public explorations (landmarks, public walks, city walks); and shared stories (artistic projects, books, articles, travel tales, serials, sounds, documentary films, exhibitions). Walking together is a way of discovering, exploring and accepting that we do not know everything.

Developed in Bordeaux, Milan, or even Marseilles, in the cradle of 'the art of the walk' (Robert Smithson, Richard Long, Stalker, Thierry d'Avila), made famous by theGR2013 (National Geographic's Best New Trail in the World) and awarded the 2013 Medal of Urbanism by the Academy of Architecture, Town Trails are the perfect illustration of a method of informal learning, open to all, without any conditions. 

In the extension of the recent exhibition of the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and of the Mediterranean (Mucem) and National Foundations, initiated by a network of European partners supported by Erasmus+, the Academy of Town Trails  was created.

Be curious: join the training programme which will be held in five European cities of Europe from spring 2020 onwards. How do you plan a path? How do you produce a trail? How do you tell a town's story? How do you become a guide? How do you create a community?

You won't be in one of the teaching towns? Don't worry, a MOOC will be available at the at the end of the project. And who knows, you'll be participating in the development of a trail near you...

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