100+ miles of adventure and discovery around the city’s edge:
The Winter Walk is complete!
You can still catch a sweet photo exhibit of images from past walks around the city’s edge at The Cedars House on Forbidden Drive in the Wissahickon Valley Park and join us for our closing events on Feb 24 in West Philly and Mar 3 in Chestnut Hill!
Sign up for updates & invites:
170 years, and just 3!
As Philadelphia marks 170 years of its current borders, it’s a good time to reflect on how much has unfolded with this project in just the past three years!
Walk Around Philadelphia creates cultural events that bring people together in shared experiences that connect them to their own bodies, their neighbors, and the landscape of Philadelphia.
The ~100+ mile walk around the entire city border happens twice a year in February & September, with other programs throughout the year.
Participants can join for any individual segment or partial segment as they are able, or set out to do it on their own anytime!
Through facilitated walks, exhibitions and narrative storytelling, the project uses the structure of exploring the city’s perimeter to engage with themes of borders and boundaries, privilege and access, social and environmental justice, infrastructure and ecosystems, commerce and incarceration, indigenous history and colonization and more.
By creating shared experience and connection between participants of all ages and backgrounds from across the entire city and metropolitan area, Walk Around Philadelphia cultivates community, civic pride, public health and a respect for the complexities of an urban environment.
Get answers to frequently asked questions about the walk:
Walk Around Philadelphia happens twice a year in February and September. And whenever you want to do it!
The walk is so many things – a way to connect to friends old and new; an opportunity to connect to aspects of the city that are familiar and totally unfamiliar all in the same walk.– Utsav S.
You can join a group walk, organize your own (just follow the guidelines…) or work with us to facilitate a perimeter retreat for your organization.
Philadelphia is large and contains multitudes.
Walk Around Philadelphia is an opportunity for adventure and discovery close to home. It provides a physical challenge & sense of personal accomplishment. It cultivates civic pride & a humbling sense of scale. Along the way are opportunities to ponder themes of social & environmental justice, infrastructure & ecosystems, commerce & incarceration, indigenous history & colonization, privilege & access, and of course borders & boundaries.
Along the city’s edge, one finds highways & waterways, ruined factories decaying & new housing being developed, a historic mansion alongside prisons. There are shipyards, scrapyards, graveyards and farmyards. Amidst beautiful parks are piles of storage units, and so much more.
The oddly-shaped boundaries sometime follow the curves of waterways and other times arbitrary-seeming straight lines drawn by surveyors. In some places, there’s no visual difference between either side; in other areas the contrasts are stark.
The project holds space for authentic connection between individuals who might otherwise not cross paths. Rare in our world are opportunities to walk side-by-side for long, uninterrupted periods of time, and the experience of setting out walking together is in many ways an inclusive one: One participant noted “How easily the numbers ebbed and flowed with people joining for parts of the walk and how accepting and welcoming everyone was when you “landed” in the group.”
On the other hand, there are real barriers to participation ranging from accessibility issues to financial circumstances. These are the barriers that Walk Around Philadelphia has begun to address and will continue to as more resources become available.
Join us in the next steps…
Partner for a program
Walk Around Philadelphia retreats bring your community together for a rich bonding experience anchored in lived experience of the city’s margins.
One day, three day, and custom programs available.
Read about the experience in this article.
On your own!
You can always undertake the walk on your own, although a group of four is recommended for safety.
Register for maps, tips, and invites to future walk events.
Make sure that you follow the guidelines, and tell us about it when you’re done!
Walk registration fees only cover a fraction of the administrative and logistical costs associated with facilitating the walk.
Additional contributions are most welcome; your support helps me continue to develop the project and make it more accessible to others.