Urban walks – claiming the right to the city or a new form of tourism?

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Charleroi – Photo credit: Kätti Rob

Lately, Charleroi and Copenhagen propose alternative Urban walks for locals and tourists alike. In Copenhagen Jacob Jacobsen, a local visual artist, activist and organizer, takes visitors and locals on a tour through the traditionally working class neighbourhoods. In Charleroi Nicolas Buissart, Belgian artist and designer, proposes an urban safari through burlesque places of the old industrial past.

Different aims

Whereas the visit through Copenhagen pinpoints local interventions of the inhabitants of Nørrebro, challenging the “public-ness” of some spaces, the Charleroi safari proposes an action-packed adventure around the old industrial town, with the country’s highest unemployment rate, in order to brand its “ugliness” towards tourists.

Critical thoughts

These walks hope to raise awareness of the political absurdities in the area and encourage local initiatives. Nevertheless these walks could also provoke the gentrification of the areas, or merely the reduction of these neighbourhoods, that now are the heart of the local identities, to a tourist attraction. On the upside, they could unleash the local economical potential and a better future for the affected areas.

Does anybody know about similar examples?

Jakob-Jakobsen

Jakob Jakobsen – Source: http://www.socialcontext.info

More about the Urban walks

Charleroi

http://www.charleroiadventure.com/en/

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2010/sep/25/charleroi-belgium-ugliest-city-world (EN)

http://www.liberation.fr/culture/2012/04/27/echappee-laide-a-charleroi_814880 (FR)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703350104575652850184361966.html (EN)

Copenhagen

http://socialcontext.info/ (EN)

More about the artists & guides

Nicolas Buissart

http://www.nicolasbuissart.com/web/

Jakob Jakobsen

http://www.theregoestheneighbourhood.org/jakob.htm

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