Teaching concept

You come to the Metropolitan Trails Academy for personal and/or professional reasons. The ambition of this MOOC is to respond to these two dimensions.



On a personal level, the practice of metropolitan hiking will allow you to live differently in your territories, by creating new links with places, people, stories...
It will also introduce you to fields of knowledge as essential as urbanism ecology, which are at the heart of the major challenges of our century, and which are not part of the programs taught in middle school or high school.


In your professional career, the Metropolitan Trails can provide training at different levels.

1° Through a collective comprehension of territories, they allow to cross and share knowledge between the fields of urban planning, ecology and contemporary art.

2° They can influence the way a profession is practiced—an urban planner can discover the stakes of urban ecology; an environmental activist can better understand the perspectives of urban planners; a mountain hiking guide can learn the art of guiding in the city; a professional in tourism can discover how contemporary art deals with contemporary urban landscapes; an artist can become involved in urban planning.

3° Metropolitan Trails can also be an opportunity to discover a new profession, which you might want to carry out.

4° Finally, if the experience becomes for you, as it has been for us, significant enough for you to contribute to the creation of a trail project in a metropolis, you will join then the international community of the Metropolitan Trails.


When one has the need or the time to go and walk, it is often in a life-change period.

It is possible to embark alone on exploratory adventures; however, it is advisable to let a group, a band, a community emerge. Metropolises are vast and complex objects, extremely difficult to apprehend without crossing perspectives and expertise.

We take up the idea of the Brazilian pedagogue Paolo Freire that "No one educates others, no one educates himself, people educate each other through the world".



This mooc is organized in two complementary and parallel spaces.

On one side, the LESSONS section is an interactive learning path. Each of the 5 steps includes field practices and involves productions to be sent to us.

On the other hand, the RESOURCES section includes numerous sounds, texts, images, itineraries, videos... in which we share our universes, our reference texts, our methodological advice, and all the reasons why we walk in the metropolises.

The RESOURCES section is made to be browsed.

The LESSONS section invites you to follow a learning path.

The return trips between the two sections will be as you wish, according to your needs and your interests.

This MOOC is designed so that you can live experiences and make productions (create an itinerary, build stories...), in order to share them with community members.


Practical exercises will be proposed to you, which you can share with us.
This mooc will offer a follow-up certificate.


This free MOOC is accessible all year round.
Attribution - No Commercial Use - No Modification


Interest in one or more of the following fields: contemporary art, geography, urban planning, ecology, social sciences, alternative tourism.




Jordi Ballesta is a researcher in geography. He works in particular on the photographic notation practices developed by American geographers and architects, as well as on the landscape thinking of John Brinckerhoff Jackson. Living in Athens since 2000, he also conducts photo-geographic research on this country, which led him to draw the Path of Greater Athens in 2018.


Gianni Biondillo, born in 1966 in Milan, is an Italian architect, screenwriter and writer, author of detective novels and essays. He is the author of about fifteen books, including Tangenziali. Due viandanti ai bordi della città (2010), which recounts the walking journey of two friends around Milan. He contributed to the creation of the Milanese project Sentieri Metropolitani.

Jens Denissen, landscape designer-urban planner (Paris)

Following a long stay in Istanbul in 2010, he co-founded in 2014 the collective "Le voyage métropolitain" which organizes collective tours in the Greater Paris area. In this framework, he conducts research on walking and living (articles, colloquia), and a photographic investigation of the margins of our living spaces. He is the co-founder of the Sentier du Grand Paris.

Yvan Detraz, architect (Bordeaux)

Yvan Detraz is the co-founder and director of Bruit du Frigo, a creative collective based in Bordeaux that has been dedicated since 2000 to the study and action on the city and the inhabited territory, through artistic, contextual and participative approaches, in France and around the world. Author of Zone sweet zone (2000; 2020), a manifesto for the creation of periurban hiking trails, he initiated the "Terres communes" trail in Bordeaux and the "Suburban shelters" project.

Alexandre Field, architect (Marseille)

As an architect, he divided his professional activity very early on between project management and the design of cultural projects. Founder member of the collective "Le Mouvement des Chemineurs", he offers in 2001 a walk and exhibition at ENSA-Versailles. Initiator of the Caravan 2013 project (an editorialized exploration of the GR2103), co-founder of the "Bureau des Guides du GR2013", he impulses innovative projects that aim to make the trail a real cultural facility.

Charlie Fox, artist (London)

Initiator of the InspiralLondon Trail, Charlie Fox develops innovative practices of performance, artistic action research and public art. His studio skills include installation, temporal media, printmaking, photography, drawing and social sculpture.

Baptiste Lanaspeze, publisher (Marseille)

Baptiste Lanaspeze, publisher, author and consultant, manages the Wildproject editions, specialized in ecology. He is also the initiator of the GR2013, and co-founder of the Agence des Sentiers métropolitains (Urban Planning Medal of the Academy of Architecture). He is also the author of books and articles, including Marseille ville sauvage: essai d'écologie urbaine (Actes Sud, 2012, reprinted 2020).

Paul-Hervé Lavessière, urban planner (Toulon)

Paul-Hervé Lavessière is the co-founder of the Agence des Sentiers Métropolitains and one of the founders of the Sentier Métropolitain du Grand Paris. He is also the author of La Révolution de Paris (winner of the 2014 Haussmann Prize for best book on Paris).

Nicolas Mémain, artist (Marseille)

Walking artist, Provencal street jockey, Médaille d'urbanisme de l'académie d'architecture, urban planner gonzo, all-terrain guide specialized in attention for built situations, cartographer and concrete bear tamer.

Gianluca Migliavacca, guide (Milan)

Trained as an architect, Gianluca Migliavacca is also a mountain guide. He developed his practice as an urban guide within Trekking Italia though the creation of the Milanese project Sentieri Metropolitani.

Mikael Mohamed (Mucem)

Mikael Mohamed has been in charge of Mucem's international relations since its opening. He previously worked for the Minister of Foreign Affairs as a cultural and communication officer at the French Institute in Riga (Latvia), and as director of the French Institute in Tetouan (Morocco).

Denis Moreau, artist (Paris)

In 1995, as a young graduate of the Paris La Villette School of Architecture, he began the "banlieuedeparis" project, a vast exploration of the greater Paris area. From 2006, at the invitation of collectives, art centers, communities or associations, his practice begins to socialize. His practice of planning through exploration, which he calls urban hacking, allows him to declare himself chief urban planner of his own imaginary metropolis... necessarily peripheral!

Julie De Muer, producer (Marseille)

Julie de Muer is a freelance producer who has been living and working in Marseille since 2001. Co-founder of the Batofar in Paris, she directed the cultural radio station Radio Grenouille. Founding member of Hôtel du Nord and GR2013, she builds itineraries to discover and question the city. The Promenades sonores she developed with Radio Grenouille was a Google award-winning project in 2013. At the Guide Bureau of the GR2013, of which she is co-founder, she is in charge of the artistic follow-up and the production of projects.

Boris Sieverts, artist (Cologne)

Born in 1969 in Berlin, Boris Sieverts lives in Cologne. After studying art in Düsseldorf, he worked as a shepherd and architect in Cologne and Bonn. Since 1997 he has been guiding locals and tourists with his Büro für Städtereisen ("Office for City Travel") through the grey areas of our cities.

Hendrik Sturm, artist (Marseille)

Originally from Düsseldorf, Hendrik Sturm has been living in Marseille since 1994. After having completed his training in Fine Arts and a thesis in neurobiology between France and Germany, Hendrik Sturm now teaches at the School of Fine Arts in Toulon, and practices his art of walking all over France, in Marseille or Paris, often in peri-urban areas, but also in city centers or rural areas.

Fivos Tsaravopoulos, entrepreneur (Athens)

Fivos Tsaravopoulos is the founder and director of Paths of Greece. After studying in France for 8 years and being passionate about ecotourism, he came back to Greece with "a strong will to contribute to the improvement of tourism". To develop ancient hiking trails, he founded Paths of Greece, a small cooperative enterprise, to rediscover, clear, mark and promote hiking trails.

Carmelo Vanadia, guide (Milano)

As a natural and urban trekking guide at Trekking Italia, Carmelo Vanadia deciphers the processes that have shaped the landscape and finds the right strategies to communicate it. He specializes in accompanying disabled, autistic and socially excluded people.

The texts of this website have been translated by Alexis Pernsteiner