Patch walks can increase understanding of the physical, economic, cultural and social aspects of a community. Walking through a community with local community members as ‘guides’ is a unique way to understand different dimensions of community life.
The role of all those who take part in a walk is to be aware of sights (to observe), sounds (to listen) and smells along the way and to ask questions of the guide or key people met along the way.
The role of community members is to guide, answer questions and lead discussion at agreed stops along the walk. The aim is to give everyone a chance to see their community through new/different eyes and to deepen understanding of the community together.
The local community ‘guides’ should help to plan the walk, including the route through the village or town that will provide the most useful information. The route and number of stops will depend on the focus of the walk and on the size of the community.
A feedback session can be held in a community venue at the end of the walk to allow different groups to compare notes and discuss their findings.