Oxford Urban Reinvention

By Julia Taylor / August 10, 2009

Our website has received word of a self-expression and leadership programme (held by Landmark Education) project held at Oxford Brookes University. The project involved an urban design workshop from the perspective of homeless people as clients for urban design. The following report came from Maria Faraone, who created the project and posted this to the Resource for Urban Design Information website.

The design workshop event took place yesterday at The Reinvention Centre at Oxford Brookes University.

urban-redesignThe Workshop was aimed to create the ideal Neighbourhood for a site in Oxford. The focus of the urban design development was from the perspective of homeless clients.

The overall intention of the workshop was to give an empowered voice to a client that is not often heard from in this context and whose satisfaction with the built environment is often taken for granted.

This kind of facilitation is as much about exposure giving relevance to the homeless voice and opinion over what our neighbourhood could ideally do for us. It’s about building public and semi-private spaces that suit everyone’s needs.

Homeless people were invited but did not attend. Instead I was invited to run the workshop again inside of a shelter in Oxford which a group of us from yesterday will take on in the coming month.

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) facilitated the event and told the participants that RIBA’s work is about creating leaders in the field of design facilitation. The idea is that if we can use the tools to work with all types of clients then the construction of society will reflect the desires and needs of all of its members.

We played the Building Futures game that took us through a series of exercises that included defining aspirations and concerns. Each of the three groups designed a neighbourhood in three hours and presented their work afterwards with explanations of the process of development made within each group.

The workshop outcome provides values – in terms of cost to deliver, local Economy, wow factor, ecological footprint and social capital

The relationships I have made with the participating leaders who made this event possible have inspired me towards what it is I would like to do with my career. This has been a great beginning!

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Julia Taylor

self esteem - November 13, 2009

very informative post!!!!

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