Stockholm & Hong Kong Correspondent Raphael Mak

Introducing our Stockholm, Sweden and Hong Kong Correspondent Raphael Mak!

Here at Pedestrian Space we recently launched a Global Walkability Correspondents Network, as a way to build solidarity among walkability advocates around the world and continue to create media on sustainable mobility and urbanism.

We are grateful to welcome Raphael as a Correspondent for both Stockholm, Sweden and Hong Kong to our growing network of individuals who are passionate walkability advocates.

 Drottninggatan (Queen Street) is the main shopping street in Stockholm, and one of the most beloved walking spaces in town // Photo: Raphael Mak


Hi! I’m Raphael, Hong Kong-born and raised, now based in Stockholm, Sweden. I have a very diverse background in music (as a composer and flutist), arts (mainly multimedia), urbanism, sports, and tech.

Having worked with urban orienteering for several years, I founded Metrunner after moving to Sweden to help tourists and locals discover public spaces around the world through outdoor activities. I’ve also co-founded Norrsken Orienteering to promote the sport in an urban context in Sweden, where orienteering is traditionally seen as a forest sport.

Within an urbanism context, I have a special interest in transit and walking, both stemming from my upbringing in Hong Kong. My interest in walking brought me to Walk21 twice (Hong Kong 2016 + Bogotá 2018), and also decided the topic of my urban planning Master’s thesis on walkability in Hong Kong’s business districts.

Besides this, I love dogs, and have an interest in wine tasting. Moreover, I occasionally write poems and am thinking of writing a sci-fi novel.

Typical street scene in downtown Hong Kong, with a lot of lost potential for a better walking environment. // Photo: Raphael Mak


I will be representing both Stockholm and Hong Kong as a Walkability Correspondent. Both are pretty exciting regarding the walking environment. I currently live in the student village of Lappis northeast of Stockholm, which is expanding and about to become the largest student precinct in all of Sweden.

While Lappis is awesome (we get to meet people from all over the world and also get very creative with local happenings), the main problem is that we lack some facilities such as cafés and printing shops. To get out of Lappis, you need to wait for a bus for nearly 10 minutes and then get off in 10 minutes, or make a very boring walk across the fields to the nearest metro station.

Stockholm however is very awesome and walkable, and the downtown areas are very lively and cool to hang out in. However, all-weather passages are surprisingly not quite a thing in Stockholm despite the not-so-awesome weather most of the year. Perhaps it’s a cultural thing—as they say in Sweden, there is no bad weather but bad clothes (det finns inget dåligt väder bara dåliga kläder).

Hong Kong, where I grew up, has such a high density that walking is an integral part of daily life. There are a lot of things going on and one can never get bored walking. However, the sidewalks are often very narrow and crowded with pedestrians, with a lot of potential for improvement.

Occasionally I can also share about Gothenburg, where I’ve lived for 2 years before moving to Stockholm; or also other cities as I travel, and write from a visitor’s perspective.

 Stora Lappkärrsberget (Lappis) is the largest student village in Stockholm, with insufficient facilities and a 10-minute walk (or bus ride) to the nearest metro station. // Photo: Raphael Mak


I got hooked up with urbanism first through maps—I’ve been obsessed with reading and drawing maps since I was young. Then I became interested in urbanism and architecture—and above all, good architecture that makes your soul happy. That’s basically (combined with a long list of chance occurrences) how I became interested in things like livable cities.

My role will be to share experiences gained from both Stockholm and Hong Kong, cities from which I gained a lot of insight in walking, as well as surprising things that I observed from my walks. Running and orienteering in cities will also play a part. I’ll be posting content to my blogs and social media (especially LinkedIn), and also occasionally create video content on my channel on walking/running/orienteering through cities.

Raphael Mak is a cross-disciplinary artist and entrepreneur working across music, multimedia, urbanism and sports. Now based in Stockholm, Sweden, his interest in walking began when he grew up in the high-density urban environment of Hong Kong. This interest influenced his later work in urban orienteering and the company he founded, Metrunner, which leads travelers to discover public spaces in worldwide cities through walking and orienteering.

View Stockholm & Hong Kong Correspondent Raphael’s content here

Learn more about the Global Walkability Correspondents Network here