Route Planning a Sensory Walk: Sniffing out the Issues

V. Adams Henshaw, T.J. M. Cox

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In recent years, sensewalking has been developed as a qualitative method of exploring aspects of the physical and cognitive experience of being within a particular, often urban, environment. The method can be located within feminist and ecological epistemologies, where the investigation and analysis of everyday experiences are argued as important and necessary in gaining valuable insights into the physical and social environment. The characteristics of the physical space within which the method is implemented has the potential to impact greatly upon the experiencing of that environment, the data collected and the resulting overall findings of the research and therefore warrants careful consideration. Drawing from the experience of carrying out a series of olfactory walks with research participants in the town centre of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, this paper includes practical examples of experiences gained whilst undertaking sensory research in the urban environment and argues that there are many important considerations and decisions to be made, not to mention pitfalls to be avoided, when defining the criteria for and planning the route of a sensory walk. Of relevance to research involving the bodily experiencing and interpretation of the environment by the researcher, or by research participants, the authors will offer insights into epistemological and practical issues that are likely to be experienced as part of the journey.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationhost publication
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
EventRoyal Geographical Society Conference - Manchester
Duration: 26 Aug 200926 Aug 2009


ConferenceRoyal Geographical Society Conference


  • smell
  • sensory
  • walking
  • cities


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