Walking Landscapes of Urban Culture (WALC) PRIN 2022 PNRR project(2023-)

Research Unit based at the University of Padua

The main objective of the  WALC project is the analysis from an interdisciplinary perspective (critical-literary, geographical, sociological) of walking in urban spaces as an intangible cultural heritage of contemporary urban mobility in European cities. The social and humanistic perspective proposed by this project suggests the importance of walking as a cultural practice. The post-pandemic time, the current social changes and climatic crisis ask to rethink cities and urban mobilities, especially the transport means and ways by which we move in space, and suggest re-evaluating the role of urban walking practices.


In European cities, walking in urban space is an often neglected but widely accessible everyday activity: allowing one to reflect on the conformation of the city, perceive and embody the map of the city, and identify new routes for experiencing and exploring everyday environments. Far from being a mere self-reflecting, individual practice, walking represents a common tool for empowering citizens, allowing them to understand the value of urban narratives traced by walking paths as intangible heritage that could be enhanced by new types of open-air, mobile, and public museum activities; to re-imagine interactions between places and stakeholders; to promote dialogues between transgenerational non specialistic-audiences and academic, cultural, and institutional actors (i.e. universities, museums, local administrations and institutions).


The project features two other units, one coordinated by Filippo Milani at the University of Bologna and one coordinated by Luca Daconto the University of Milano Bicocca.


The Research Unit based at the University of Padua, coordinated by Giada Peterle, promotes an art-geography collaboration to explore walking as a mobile and creative method, and to reflect on the ways in which urban cultures can be shaped and resignified through creative and narrative practices. In particular, this Unit contributes to current research in literary geographies; literary urban studies; mobility studies; and geohumanities, and, from a methodological perspective, it works with a geocritical approach to urban mobilities and walking narratives; art-based and creative methods; mobile and auto-ethno-graphic methods.


This Research Unit is sustained by the Centre for Advanced Studies in Mobility and Humanities (MoHu) and the Museum of Geography of the University of Padua.

The WALC project collaborates also with the Espace, Déplacement, Mobilité Network of the Centre de Recherches Pluridisciplinaires Multilingues – CRPM, Université Paris Nanterre

The WALC PRIN project runs the NaMUC (Narrative Mobilities of Urban Cultures) seminar series, which includes seminars hosted at the MoHu Centre, the Museum of Geography, and also on the move across multiple urban spaces

Principal Investigator:

Giada Peterle


Tania Rossetto

Giuseppe Tomasella