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Wild cities

18 April 2017

Guerrilla geographer, creative explorer and former geography teacher Daniel Raven-Ellison addressed the RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference hosted by the School of Geography and Planning.

Delivering a keynote speech in Cardiff University, Daniel shared his stories of exploration and discussed the connections between smart technology, wild spaces and our state of mind. Dan walked across the Welsh capital of Cardiff in a single day.  His journey was tracked using data from his connected EEG headgear, making it possible to compare his perception of the city with his brain activity to see how the changing environment stimulated his senses.

Speaking about his journey Daniel said: “I’m on a mission to show why sustainable cities need wild spaces as well as smart technology. Having now walked across all of the UK’s 69 cities and 15 national parks, I’ve been able to look at new ways in which technology can improve our quality of life.  The sensors recorded my brain activity and collected data, which will help illustrate how landscape influences our mood, health, and ultimately our happiness.”

In total Daniel walked 1,686km across all of the UK’s 15 national parks and 69 cities while wearing the mind-reading EEG to explore how his emotions changed as he explored different kinds of places. Daniel is also a National Geographic Explorer and is leading the campaign to make London the world’s first National Park City.

The talk was held as a joint event between the School of Geography and Planning‘s Impact and Engagement programme and the RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference.  The Conference was held over the 19th – 21st April 2017 and was hosted by a team of PhD students based in the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University.