Published on 21st March 2017
The future of Newcastle’s parks and allotments is up for discussion, and researchers at Newcastle University are making it easier for people to give their views and opinions.
Let's talk parks
Residents, allotment holders, the business community, local charitable groups, friends of parks and other interested parties are being invited to take part in a range of events being held to gather views and ideas about the future of Newcastle’s parks and allotments.
Newcastle City Council announced earlier this year that it is looking for a new way to fund and maintain parks following a 91% reduction in its parks budget since 2010. It has been researching the possibility of transferring the operation, delivery and maintenance of a large proportion of the city’s parks and allotments to a new charitable trust.
Researchers at Newcastle University’s Open Lab are working with Newcastle City Council to hold workshops and online discussions including dedicated Twitter chats to explore questions such as what activities a charitable trust could support, where the money should come from, what role volunteers and communities should play, and how decisions should be made.
The Open Lab team are currently running workshops across the city, with a mix of morning and evening sessions, to allow as many people as possible to take part.
In addition to the workshops, questions and scenarios will be explored via weekly Twitter discussions and the Let’s Talk Parks website. All of the opinions and ideas gathered across the events will be available on the website so that members of the public can view and comment on the proposals and engage in further discussions.
Clara Crivellaro, who is leading the project for Open Lab, explained: “The people who use the city’s parks and green spaces are best placed to give their opinions about how they’re run and managed. These workshops will provide opportunities for people to come together to examine aspects of the council’s proposal and proactively contribute ideas for parks and allotments across the city.
“The variety of ways that people can get involved in this consultation exercise is a great example of what Open Lab is all about – using digital technology to empower local communities and engage them in decision making.
For the full article please visit the Newcastle University website.