Creative Participation in Place-making

 

Resource authors: Antonia Layard, Jane Milling and Tom Wakeford

This project explored how three ‘pioneer communities’ in Newcastle, Cumbria and Bristol use creativity to involve themselves in place-making and planning practices after initial struggles to have a voice in the process. The key empirical findings from the project illustrate divergent approaches to creativity in place-making with each having some success. Sites in Newcastle, Cumbria and Bristol have been creatively transformed to reflect the needs and interests of older and younger people and to ‘beautify’ the environment in Stokes Croft. As anticipated, the project revealed some difficulties in defining who ‘the’ community is, what creativity is and in whose name such creativity is practised, particularly when action is more individualised. However, the project tentatively suggested that creativity might be greater when groups are less representative and when decision-makers and funders are less involved. This project found that when understood through the experiences of community participants that place-making is broader and more material than planning practices as conventionally conceived.

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