Instawalk is a format established by the worldwide Instagram community. Instawalk is a collective, shared activity, where a group of people meet to explore a certain place/route together from a thematic perspective, e.g. Street Art.

Basic Information on the Method
Mode of communication
Online, Both
Group size
1-5, 6-30
Geographical scale
Public space, Neighbourhood
Skills required
Basic, Average
Resources needed
Level of Involvement
Level of involvement
Consult, Involve
Type of knowledge enabled
Divergence (Small groups)
Additional Criteria
Planning phase
Initiatiion, Evaluation & Research, Maintenance
Methodological approach
Diagnostic, Expressive, Political

How to use the method

Determination of theme

An Instawalk is usually arranged in a thematic way that participants should take photos focusing on certain objectives/topics. For searching and promotion purpose, a proper (short, original, easy-to-remember) hashtag is also needed.

Date selection

Except that the theme is focusing on a certain date, festivals, holidays, or big events like election day that disturbance may occur should be avoided.

Promotion, invitation, and training

After the theme and date are set, the organizer should promote the event and invite the target group to participate. Some groups of people may find it difficult to use a camera or Instagram, so training may be needed. Participants can learn about the theme & expected objectives clearly and be empowered with freedom to take photos in their own way.

During and after the walk

During the walk, 1-30 people as a group explore the target area, and upload their photo to social media using the designated hashtag. After the walk, organisers/coordinators should compile the photos, as well as the captions and comments of them, then disseminate them in a  meaningful way to enact action.

What are the outcomes

  • Better understanding of participants’ perspectives, especially from those often unheard.
  • Images of target area from different perspectives.
  • Raise attention of the topic, or even influence policy makers.

Skills required

Skills: basic, average

  • Basic skill to use mobilephone/camera to take photos
  • Skill to share photes on social media such as Instagram with designated hashtag

Resources needed

Resources: low

  • Analyse the collected pictures

Strengths and weaknesses



  • Mobility, people can participate on site with mobile phone
  • Easily accessible, low requirements for camera and mobile phone
  • Expression without text, crossing cultural and linguistic barriers
  • Fun and casual procedure
  • Social influence of changing perceptions[1]
  • Age bias of participants, young citizens are more likely to participate

Use cases


In 2016, as part of the Helsinki Plan 2017, an Instawalk was held in Malminkartano, Helsinki. This event gathered photos and words of thoughts and ideas about what Malminkartano is like through the eyes of residents. Planners and designers also interview participants during an hour-long walk in winter and spring.

Try one of these tools & resources

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Other Social media
  1. [1] Hoogendoorn, G., & Gregory, J. (2016, December). Instagrammers, urban renewal and the Johannesburg inner city. In Urban Forum (Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 399-414). Springer Netherlands.