Mapping the cities is a multilayer activity that can be developed in so many ways and using different tools. One of the intellectual Outputs of the project is the toolkit.
You can download the final output of the toolkit as an investigation and learning process, and also browse some toolkits we used below.
IMAGE Students as Researchers Partners Researching the City TOOLKIT 2023_ (2)
Here are some tools we used during the project:
Exploring and Researching the City: Being knowledgeable about places, knowing how to read them in different ways, understanding layouts and their role in how places get appreciated have shown to be critical when it comes to the fostering of civic engagement and democratic values. In this sense, prior experiences with the students in preparatory programmes such as Exploring the City have become emblematic. They show that one can never take for granted that this kind of knowledge is ensured just because one lives, works or studies somewhere. Only when one is knowledgeable and able to connect can one think about becoming a valuable agent of change for the city.
Similarly, our toolkit Researching the City engages with the tradition of walkers and creatives, researchers and artists discovering everyday new dimensions in the habitual. The walks aim at providing guidance in order to get a better understanding of the nature of places, including hot-spots. Walks in the inner-city centre enable to rediscover the value of ‘touristic must-see spots’, while other walks in the so-called peripheries show that the same mechanisms can be applied to give more attention to incipient or more hidden gems in there. At the same time, the activities result in a compilation of data made by the observations of students and faculty.
Also, in order to relieve congestion on roads and public transport IMAGE encourages citizens to walk between certain destinations. Yes, it’s the world turned upside down: inciting city-dwellers to walk rather than use the tramway! The initiative could encourage the public to walk small distances, rather than waiting for jam-packed buses and trams. Walking can be a viable alternative and we hope to have the ability to how to change how people move around the city in the long term.
Painting: The city has always been a source of inspiration for painters. Likewise, paintings provide creative, intellectual and emotional insights into society at large. An image can make sense to everybody despite cultural, geographical, ethnic or language differences among people. The goal is to encourage visual literacy, so that students observe their surroundings. But it is a two-way relationship and not only does painting inform but it can show the urban condition, and help develop social networks through public art, street art thus improving the daily life of the city and its people. As well as images reflecting tourism, physical sites and hidden emotions, paintings and art lead to interesting questions, such as how the community can relate to painting or statues. In some peripheral parts of the city, like Carnide in Lisbon, street art has given a breath of fresh air to an area dominated by concrete and the huge murals allow locals to stop and gaze.
Food & Sensory Experience: Food is essential for the mind and body. Cities like Paris are known for their gastronomy. But recipes, ingredients and types of restaurants constantly change. By using senses, we can start to understand how people live in cities and how food shapes the city. Food tours provide a special insight into how the city and its populations live. Cities are diverse and dynamic, and so by looking at the history of food, the eclectic range of dishes available and how it is consumed we build a better understanding of how people live together. Increased migration and products have reshaped the city in recent years. Key questions arise, like: do certain foods evoke memories of elsewhere for some groups? How can shared meals foster new relations?
QuizeRo: JOURNEY THROUGH MAPS
QuizeRo is a location-based scavenger hunt, players solve the given tasks and embark on an exciting journey in any given area. Only if the tasks are solved correctly, the next tasks can be found and the quest completed. It was initially developed in 2012 using QR codes by a team from Vienna to engage people new to a city area and impart knowledge in a fun way!
Within the IMAGE project a student team developed an App for the city area St. Marx using the GPS location of the smartphone of the participants. To play, you only need a smartphone a map application using GPS signals and the QuizeRo App which is included in the platform Actionbound (available on iOS and Android shops).
The IMAGE lecturers were Beta users during the teacher training (March 2022) and were guided by the students who developed the App