Asset mapping through walking ethnographies

Original proposal: At the unMonastery I will be conducting walking ethnographies with a variety of local residents to find out how they feel about the place they live in. The intention is to bring into view Matera’s informal practices, unrecorded memories and hidden characteristics to create a picture of the area and highlight potential opportunities and challenges. This research will then form the backbone of an Asset Mapping Toolkit that can be used in two ways: firstly for future unMonasteries to use it as a way of understanding what strengths already exist in the community they are based in, and secondly to create a new way of seeing Matera in the hope that this can trigger new approaches and ideas for future initiatives.

The next step would be to hold a public event to present back the findings in various formats to unMonastery members and locals. The purpose of this would be to get their feedback about the results of the asset mapping in particular to find out what is missing and whether it reflects how they feel about the town. The second part would be a co-production workshop to work out how these findings could feed into the ideas and projects that are emerging through the unMonastery.

Local Challenge it addresses:

As this is an asset mapping exercise, the aim of the conversations will be to unearth a breadth of both assets and challenges that different people experience in Matera. Through this process, certain challenges that have already been identified may resurface through these conversations.

· Many houses and buildings are not in use and there is no architectural innovation.

· Lack of a global view on the city

· Significant lack of offline engagement or visibility for happenings throughout the city

· Lack of a inter-generational space

How the Project has changed:

· It is clear that there needs to be a focus on a more specific area and too much attention on the Sassi isn’t desirable. The University of Basilicata are working in the area of Picianello and as there is a strong potential for collaboration with them it would seem sensible to focus on the Sassi and Picianello.

· The asset mapping toolkit has to be redefined so that it can fit with the other assets that are being mapped by various groups within and outside the unMonastery.

Successes and Challenges:


· Arriving at the mid-point has meant that there are a substantial amount of contacts that I can tap into, however this has side-tracked the urgency of building relationships out from the existing network of the unMonastery and the Committato.


· Communication barriers – we need to improve the way that we communicate about the project to everyday Materans

· Community engagement- simple strategies like talking to people on the street are currently not happening. There is some suspicion about the project which could be overcome if we engaged in more direct dialogue

Activities and Outputs:

· Developing a collaboration with the University of Basilicata on their ‘Walking on the Line’ project

· Developing a collaborative project in Piccianello with Il Vagabondo

· First round of walking ethnographies conducted

System established for tracking walks and mapping the multi-media data using Ramblr

· Ethnographic blog of project started:

· Community engagement strategies planned


(Please note that this was written about two weeks after arriving and there have been various changes and developments since).