Martin Kohler (DE) | HafenCity University Hamburg

martin feet version1Metropolitan transects - São Paulo and 8 other urban agglomerations

With nine urban walks through some of the worlds largest urban agglomeration (São Paulo, Seoul-Incheon, Istanbul, London, etc.), Martin Kohler exemplifies an experimental concept to relate spaces of cities that underwent a rapid urbanization in the last century. The urban walks are multi-day long walks through the entire urban body of world cities by a group or a single individual, resulting in maps of the walked path, photographic descriptions of spaces and social encounters, field notes and an animated sequence of the walk.

Based on the photographic practice of artists and the inspiring framework of Debord's driftings, the urban walks translate the vast abstract space of the megapolis into a string of places. The extension of the walks from the neighborhood level to the full transect cutting the urban agglomeration is a still unfinished experiment to give an account of the global city as an anthropological space. With the line of walking, the microspaces „where people live" connect with the macrogeographies of the Global City, allowing not only to compare, but also to relate cities in their uniqueness as well as in their general city-ness. Along the Moving On symposium trail, notebooks with video clips and photographs of these walks form a stage for discussion.

List of all walked cities

SEOUL --- 20.5 Mio / 7346 km2 / 4048 P/km2

RUHR AREA --- 7.3 Mio / 4435 km2 / 1645 P/km2

ISTANBUL --- 12.9 Mio / 5196 km2 / 2483 P/km2

HAMBURG --- 1.7 Mio / 755 km2 / 2349 P/km2

LONDON --- 8.5 Mio / 1623 km2 / 5237 P/km2

SÃO PAULO --- 18.6 Mio / 8479 km2 / 2223 P/km2

SPRINGFIELD/HOLYOKE/CHICOPEE --- 0.3 Mio / 242 km² / 1239 P/km2

DETROIT --- 3.78 Mio / 3267 km2 / 1157 P/km2

LAS VEGAS --- 1.8 Mio / 1600 km2 / 2483 P/km2

Publicily available animated walks:


Sao Paulo:



Martin Kohler (DE)

Martin Kohler is a photographer and urbanist. He studied landscape architecture and environmental planning at the University of Hannover and at the Southern Australia University, Adelaide. He has taught urban photography at HafenCity University, Hamburg, since 2003 and has founded and curated several art projects in public spaces such as the HAFENSAFARI (2009). He has deployed photography as a research method in various projects including a series of "urban transects" in Seoul, Istanbul, SãoPaulo and the Ruhr area.