Case Study: Engage Liverpool

As part of the 2015 Liveable Liverpool Seminar Series PLACED worked with Engage Liverpool to deliver two hands-on workshops; one for families and a second for older people. The workshops involved structured discussion and the development of design ideas for the ‘first mixed apartment community’.

Client aims:

  • Gain an insight into the opportunities and challenges of city centre living for two key groups; families and older people
  • Inform discussion and policy when considering how mixed apartment communities can be created and how people from these groups could be encouraged to live in the city centre
  • Involve families in the wider Seminar Programme.

Approach:

Four families (14 people) and 8 older people attended the workshops, which involved:

  • Participants considering what is good, what is less successful and the opportunities for living in the city centre for them
  • Development of ‘briefs’ for their ideal apartment including looking at size / number of apartments, transport links, the resident make up, what they would want to be included in the apartment block and what they would want to see in the surrounding area
  • Modelling their apartment / surrounding area informed by the above
  • Structured discussion of design ideas and points highlighted through the design process.

The short film here shows the workshop approach and hears from participants about their experiences and ideas:

Outcome

  • Diverse communities are sought. The development of more three bed apartments with larger rooms is thought to be integral to supporting mixed, sustainable communities. Making apartments accessible would support families and those with disabilities to live in the city
  • More and better quality communal and public space in apartment blocks and in the wider area is desired, with participants believing this would help to create a greater sense of community, identity and cohesion. In particular there is a desire for more green space
  • Improvements to transport – whether public transport links or cycling – are important to all to prevent isolation and ensure local facilities are accessible
  • The current approach to apartment development and wider urban policy for the city centre presents a number of challenges and there was discussion around who pays for the above. However, it was felt that with changes to policy, the city centre – with it has to offer – could become a very attractive and sustainable place to live for many more families and older people.

Client Feedback

  • “Working with PLACED was a total delight! Their professionalism and expertise aligned with such a creative and fun spirit made these workshops outstanding, enjoyable and memorable for everyone who took part. The families engaged as thoroughly as did the older people and all came away energised and encouraged that someone had listened to them and their experiences and made good use of it to improve the world for others.” Gerry Proctor MBE, Chair of Engage Liverpool

“I enjoyed having adults LISTEN to our ideas about the local area and designing a place for us”

Pupil

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