The Future is… Birkenhead (Common Good)

PLACED worked with the Common Good team, along with partner organisation in the Left Bank Collective and Wirral Council to create an interactive event seeking to contribute to discussion of the future of Birkenhead.

We wanted to explore how grassroot action and organisations can be part of, and can drive, regeneration. The Left Bank Collective of organisations, including Future Yard, Make Hamilton Square, Convenience Gallery, Open Door Charity and Bloom Building, all offered opportunities for the audience to see their locations and hear about their work. First in a walking tour which took in the Argyle Street area of Birkenhead and then in some opening remarks to kick off the event.

What we did

Alongside the walking tour and opening remarks made by our event partners, PLACED created interactive elements and displays to encourage attendees to being thinking about our theme and share their views.

Along with the Convenience Gallery we offered opportunities for attendees to draw their ideas for the future of Birkenhead, to map out the assets in Birkenhead, to share their ideas on the regeneration success and to vote in a series of quick-fire questions. Making use of puzzle pieces, marker pens, map pins and voting tokens we created a tactile and interactive set of exhibits.

The central part of the evening included PLACED ‘rotating debating’, chaired by David Roberts from Common Good PLACED co-ordinated the unusual debate format. Designed to flip the traditional expert panel, rotating debating invites audience members to join the panel and recognise that everyone has some expertise in relation to the built environment. Volunteer panellists were grouped together into small groups of four and asked a question each before calling up another group of panellists. We were able to hear from a more voices, inviting 16 panellists in total. Audience members also submitted their questions to the panel.

Outcome

Our approach enabled more voices to contribute to the discussion and share their views. We heard from local residents, built environment professionals, architects, planners and more.

Parks, Parks, Parks! Common Good x PLACED  

What we did

PLACED teamed up with Common Good to put on an event which aimed to talk about the amazing role of public parks in our towns and cities. Hosted in BirkenEd’s Place, our community engagement hub in Birkenhead, we covered some history of public parks, heard about Birkenhead’s biggest contribution to date to the world of public parks, and looked to the future with the plans for Dock Branch Park.

We heard from the Friends of Birkenhead Park about how the park was established, how their group came to be and how today they help to keep the park looking good and well cared for. Birkenhead Park was added to the UK’s tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

We looked at the proposals and plans for the creation of a public park in the former Dock Branch railway cutting, hearing from landscape architects on the project and offered chance for people to engage and have their say on the plans.

Outcomes

All comments and awareness helps increase reach and engagement on the project, ensuring people can have their say.

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