Friday, January 7, 2011
Here in the UK I'm currently finalising a research projects with colleagues who are experts in creative participation and community development. It will take some time to discover whether or not we're awarded the grant but in the process of writing the application I've re-discovered some familiar favourites.
The first is a project by CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, which is about to lose its funding due to the new Government's austerity measures and the 'bonfire of the quangos'. CABE is highly rated by those in the built environment and has carried out some ground breaking working engaging local communities in thinking about and contributing to their own local built environments.
One notable project is a short film about Beauty where residents of Sheffield (a city in the North of England with a longstanding industrial heritage and a vibrant and diverse local community) were asked what they considered to be beautiful in their local environment. One memorable part of the film considers the beauty of a mosque as seen from a hill, looking down on the historic centre of Sheffield below.
A second and extremely lighthearted attempt to engage particularly young people in planning and land use processes was this short video performed by a local Councillor who was once a member of the Monster Raving Looney Party (who regularly field candidates in elections) and is also a local radio DJ. The video is a spoof of a familiar car commercial that was cheap to produce and reached a wide audience. As the youtube comments after the video show, this is a much less formal way to engage and can involve residents who otherwise have little interest in writing letters or attending meetings through formal participatory processes.
Are there any other examples of creative participation out there?