A diagnostic walking is a visit to a certain space or neighbourhood following an established route. It allows for the gathering of information about the space and information exchange between individuals. The residents feel their voices are heard (again) during the walking diagnosis. They can share their view on their neighbourhood with other residents or a third party.
The diagnostic walking happens in four stages:
Three people, appointed beforehand, play a particularly important role in an efficient walking diagnosis:
The guide must keep track of time and the itinerary. He gives a detailed presentation of the itinerary and indicates the limits of the space to be observed (at the start and for each stage). He tells how much time there is at the start and before each stage, and regularly lets the participants know what time is. He makes sure the group stays together while moving and watches traffic.
The photographer keeps track of the visit visually. He takes pictures whenever one of the participants asks for it: of both positive and negative aspects. He also takes picture of the course of the visit and the group.
The reporter drafts a precise summary of the group's observations. All along during the visit, he listens and ask for clarifications on everybody's observations, asking questions such as: 'why?', 'how much?', 'what do you mean exactly?' etc. Finally, he displays the observations in a general chart. He presents his summary during the communal debriefing, in which conclusions are translated into proposals.
The diagnostic walking method was used for the following projects: Neptunium - Schaerbeek, Dubrucq L28 - Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Esseghem - Jette, Brabant moves - Schaerbeek, Duden - Forest, Menin Gare de l'Ouest - Molenbeek-Saint-Jean.