Monday, May 14, 2018

Ways to Wander: Walk No. 19 - City Centre Walk

'City Centre' is the latest instalment of Dr. Blake Morris' long-term project, an interpretation and enactment of the book 'Ways to Wander' by Clare Qualmann and Clair Hind.

For this edition Blake received an incredible response to his call for participants, with almost 50 walkers replying from 15 countries on 6 continents.

On the planned date (12 May 2018) I had relocated to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam and so my participatory walk would be conducted here.

'City Centre' by Tom Hall is the 19th detailed walk in the book and entails walking away from a city centre, noticing changes in the environment, buildings, traffic, skyline and so on. At a certain point a decision will be made to turn around and head back in the opposite direction, looking for similar clues to the changes made as the centre of a city is approached.

I had arrived in the city the day before and decided to explore an area of the city to the south east, in District 7 of Saigon. I was interested in the changes to be seen in the urban landscape in this area as it is currently under redevelopment.
New developments are noticeable as islands separated by areas of wasteland. Some of these areas appear to have some beginnings of construction which have for some reason been abandoned. Areas around new developments are manicured while elsewhere there is evidence of fly-tipping.

The walk: From Vivo City to Happy Valley and back again.


The start - Vivo City, air-conditioned shopping mall

Initial boulevard-type road system

National insignia greets the in-coming traffic

The Sky Garden development provides welcome shade

Wide road junction with alarming traffic behaviour 

Motorbike vendor, modest load compared to many!

About to cross the road, pedestrians do NOT have sole right of way!

Area of wasteland, Happy Valley development in the distance

Vertical road marker

Road marker set into the pavement

Happy Valley development, no obvious facilities


Walking back along Happy Valley

Areas of wasteland on all sides

Panorama of a wide road junction

Raw materials headed into the city centre

National insignia more visible on the return walk

Colour palette collected during the walk

Capturing street details

Traffic behaviour study

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