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Interactive Walkable Floor maps - guideline for teachers

by Jeppe Læssøe


Walkable Floor maps

Guideline for
Interactive Walkable Floor maps (IWFs) serve as educational platforms developed and tested as part of the REGREEN. It is an outcome of collaboration across research disciplines as well as across researchers, planners and teachers.

REGREEN, an EU-funded research and development project, was dedicated to advancing the implementation of Nature-Based Solutions in urban areas to tackle challenges arising from climate change and biodiversity loss.

The primary objective of IWFs is to facilitate active and interactive learning processes related to local sustainable development. Different kinds of tools and methods can be applied when working with IWFs. That is why we call it an educational platform.

This guideline aims at introducing IWFs as well as inspiring and helping schools and teachers who would like to apply IWF is their teaching.

At the end of this guideline, you can find links to further information on REGREEN, Nature-Based Solutions, technical guidance on IWF production, and related educational materials.

It’s then up to us [the teachers] to explore this new tool with the pupils, so that they can take more conscious ownership of their living space and realise that they are an integral part of an area rich in history and resources. They need to discover it, understand it, and realise that they too can take action to help it evolve”.

Quotes from a school teacher who has been working with interactive walkable floormaps
What is an Interactive Walkable Floormap?
Imagine that you walk into large room at the school. A huge map (e.g. 4x5 meters) is laying there fixed to the floor. You can walk upon it and experience the local area in its totality. The map is based on an arial photo with a lot of details some familiar and recognizable, while others may be unfamiliar to you.
Photo: Sebastian Elze
Three ways to make floormaps interactive:
1.       by teacher-participation in the process  of designing the map;
2.       by enabling meetings and dialogue on the map between teachers, pupils and other local agents;
3.       by participatory mapping (explained on the next page)
Three reasons for applying Interactive Walkable Floormaps?
Photo: J. Læssøe
  • IWFs aim at facilitating governance, participation and dialogue regarding the development of Nature-Based Solutions in urban areas. This aim does also embrace children as citizens.

  • IWFs are furthermore platforms for public awareness raising and education of children. They provide a dynamic space for interactive learning.

  • Moreover, IWFs can function as platforms for networking and collaboration between municipalities and schools, facilitating meaningful partnerships in the pursuit of sustainable development.

Participatory mapping on IWFs
Maps are deliberate constructs, always carrying interpretations. Participatory mapping transforms users from passive receivers to active participants. This approach aims at: 1) honing their spatial thinking, 2) fostering awareness of their surroundings, and 3) inspiring them to engage in decisions shaping the future of the area.

Interactive Walkable Floormaps facilitate participatory mapping with children. Engaging with real-world issues, the outcomes are incorporated into the floormap through QR codes, linking to discoveries, photos, field e-books, podcasts, and future visions. Additionally, contributions can be presented on transparencies that can be easily added to or removed from the floormap.

Parents, planners, and other community stakeholders are invited to experience the students' contributions and provide feedback. They can also share their own insights and perspectives. Teachers can integrate these contributions into their teaching, allowing students to learn from them and from responding to them.

Floor map of Aarhus City with contributions from children