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  • Writer's pictureFanechka Fernandes

New Buildings and Routes Drop-in/ Outdoor workshop session

Location:Bridget Joyce Square, New Zealand way

Date: 23/07/21; 29/07/21;

We spoke to more than 110 people about what new buildings and routes should look and feel like in the estate. We had a series of exercises to gather this feedback.

Residents were pleased with the interaction and the feedback exercises used on the day.

Some concerns were raised about change not being for local people, but reassurance around commitments to re-provide genuinely affordable housing were provided by team members.

Local people want their community to be protected, and for better things to be provided for them, not just for new occupants.

Exercise 1 - Building Blocks Exercise :

This exercise was welcomed and helped residents see what the new buildings could look like in 3D within the context of the existing buildings.

Here are some of the things people told us on the day:

  • Most participants favoured keeping heights at the edges similar to the existing buildings.

  • Some residents preferred the height of all buildings to stay as close as possible to the existing, however they understood the trade off between height, viability, number of affordable homes and amount of outside space.

  • Better Bin storage areas/ provision

  • Motorbike/ cycle parking for older and new residents

  • Children's buggy storage area near flats

  • Outdoor clothes drying area

  • Acoustics/ noise pollution across the estate

  • Daily service access for post/ deliveries

  • Access to w/c for larger families and corridor spaces to different rooms (this would help during times like - the pandemic when individuals from larger families have to isolate)

Exercise 2 - Precent images

We shared 6 examples of architectural building case studies and 6 examples of Landscaping ideas.

This allowed residents to share with us the ideas they liked and the type of design they thought would not work in the estate.

Here is summary of the feedback we received:

  • Several negative comments about balconies with bars, screened balconies would be preferred.

  • Some disliked designs with lots of different coloured brick as it felt 'too busy' while others preferred it as it had a different look to it.

  • People prefered warmer/ lighter toned buildings with brickwork compared to grey or concrete.

  • Spaces which showed more open space and seating between buildings were popular.

  • Buildings with closed off or dark corridors/ routes received negative comments as they were associated with an increase in anti-social behaviours

  • The idea of communal gardening was welcomed but people felt that these interventions need to be robust and maintained in order to not look messy.

  • People asked to see more examples of greening being built into buildings eg: through green paths/ routes, water features

  • Open spaces with 'play on the way' features that attracted different age groups and different activities like walking, playing and socialising were liked by many.

Exercise 3 - Mapping activity

We showed people a map of the existing estate and facilities it provided. This gave people an opportunity to share what they thought was great, what could be better and any ideas they had for the central area.

Spaces they loved:

  • Bridget Joyce Square was valued as a safe and pleasant social space.

  • Many trees in the central area were highlighted as being particularly valuable along with addition of fruit trees to allow foraging.

  • Many children and parents valued and loved the playground. They saw it as an important space and suggested more and better adventure play equipment.

When asked about what within the area could be better:

  • Spaces that consider different demographics would be welcomed - Most residents talked about the lack of spaces for the youth, teenagers and young parents with babies.

  • Less restricted play areas without different zones were suggested by some - Young people said that the adventure playground and sport pitch weren't great due to lack of public access and management.

  • “The adventure playground was better when it ran services for everyone”

  • The outdoor gym was highlighted as a well used space, but would benefit from more calisthenics focused equipment, which would be less prone to breaking.

Other Ideas for the central area:

  • Spaces that allowed skating/ bmxing/ basketball/ dodgeball

  • Summer BBQ / picnic areas that bring the community together

  • Sensory pathways like water paths, fragrant plants and flowers

  • Outdoor stage for informal and small performances

  • Outdoor social space to hold street events, public squares that bring communities together

  • Better play spaces that are accessible and inclusive - these could include skate parks, mini ramps, water bodies, MUGA, play parks with adventure play equipment.

  • More green open spaces that celebrate trees and encourage planting.

  • Health and wellbeing : Consideration of sensory outdoor plants based on demographics / pollution levels as many in White City suffer from asthma.

  • Interactive and playful elements outdoors - with lighting, sound, playable landscape

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