Nowadays, habitants of the cities comprise half of the world’s population and the percentage is expected to increase further in the coming decades. Cities are the place where we daily move, work or enjoy ourselves, the environment where the majority of our practices take place, from the very necessary to the most unusual.
How do we, however, experience the city as a field of our everyday life? This research focuses on the concept of wandering as a method of reading and experiencing the urban landscape. It has as a starting point the personal wanderings in three European cities and the questions that arose about the urban experience.
The theoretical approach to research begins with the flâneur, the Parisian figure that came up during the emergence of the metropolis and is considered the archetypal form of urban wandering. After studying the way in which the flâneur was introduced as a literary motif by Charles Baudelaire in the middle of the 19th century and became a subject of study by Walter Benjamin at the beginning of the 20th one, the research continues with the presentation of its evolution in the following decades. In parallel, the development of additional urban models that suggested new forms of strolling in the city and enriched the concept of wandering is examined.
The research process is complemented by the record and description of the experience of wandering during the stay in Puerto de la Cruz, Lisbon and Madrid for a period of fifteen months. The hybrid model of urban wandering that was adopted, incorporates elements of the historical models that have already been examined, while text, photography, souvenir and cartography are the methodological tools of this attempt which has as ultimate purpose the transmission of the experienced image, the character and the atmosphere of the three cities.