Workshops in Regents Park consisted of a series of participatory workshops organised between January and March 2022. They were delivered in close collaboration with Regents Park Community Champions, a group of residents concerned with the health and wellbeing of people that live in Regents Park Estate, a housing estate that borders the Euston development site. The objective was to design and deliver a series of structured activities that could help define and scope out challenges and opportunities that residents experience and perceive in Euston, and that they would like to address through meanwhile projects. The activity went through the following stages over a three month period:
- Several iterations of mapping activities, supporting residents to identify locations to be celebrated and locations that have problems that need addressing within the Regents Park Estate. These mapping activities included drawing and plotting on maps of the area (2D) placing models and markers on large scale maps of the area (3D) and sharing these sites on google maps so that they can be added to and iterated over time (digital). These mapping activities were delivered as part of regular 'social events' that the Champions host for the residents of Regents Park Estate.
- A 'wellbeing walk' with residents, council officers and development stakeholders, which entailed walking the estate together and identifying 'sites of significance' - i.e., places that residents feel are significantly linked to stories, histories, and places, and that would deserve (re)appreciation and improvement.
- An ‘idea workshop’ where residents and development stakeholders identified the challenges, opportunities and possible interventions to be undertaken in the area. To create the workshop materials for this event the T-Factor team synthesised the findings of consultation delivered by multiple agencies across the development area over the last five years and helped residents to 'join the dots' between the results of past consultation and current meanwhile proposals. This is significant in the local context as citizens can see how the results of past consultations are informing the current work - rather than repeating the same ‘extractive’ questioning that has led to consultation fatigue amongst some residents in the area.
- A voting workshop where residents selected the most popular project ideas.
- A timeline workshop where residents planned the timelines for delivering the projects prioritised for address.
Through the Workshops, the local residents experienced a collective desire to improve the safety of the area, something that they hadn’t necessarily felt before and that happened through the opportunity of entering into a temporary partnership with local organisations and government. Furthermore, the participants indicated that one of the activities in Regents Park, namely the neighbourhood walks, contributed positively to their perceptions of safety and conviviality. Walking together through the neighbourhood, identifying challenges and proposing solutions enabled a collective and positive occupation of public streets and spaces within the site, fostering a sense of ownership and guardianship amongst participants. Such activities align with the strategies of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design which aim to “reduce victimisation, deter offender decisions that precede criminal acts, and build a sense of community among inhabitants so they can gain territorial control of areas, reduce crime, and minimise fear of crime”.
- Arts, Culture & Heritage
- Safe & Convivial Streets and Squares