Using walking methodologies helps to empower participants. These methods also strengthen the interpersonal and relational aspects between participants. They promote the physical health and well-being of participants while helping researchers to better understand participants’ lived experiences. Moreover, walking methodologies, such as walking or group jogging, can promote solidarity and psychosocial support.
In addition, using walking methodologies makes it possible to have a much longer interview than during sedentary interviews, thereby collecting more information.
Walking methodologies can be used in a wide variety of contexts.
Evans and Jones (2011) used walking interviews coupled with a qualitative version of the geographic information system to study the relationship between people’s mobility and understanding of place to create health-promoting urban design.
Irving (2010) used pedestrianism combined with image-taking and digital audio recording to examine the trajectory of a person who had been infected with HIV.
For his part, Middleton (2011) used pedestrianism to gain a better understanding of the use of urban public spaces.
Walking methodologies can employ a plurality of approaches rather than using a single one. These methodologies can be combined with participatory mapping and photography.
For example, Dennis et al. (2008) studied the consequences on the health and well-being of youth of living in socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. AS part of the process, they used qualitative mapping combining participatory photography, elucidation of photos, and participatory mapping using geographic information systems.
Text by Jean-Marie Buregeya