WCMT Travel Fellowship 2016: innovative participation in public urban green space

Following an award of a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship 2016, I’m travelling to Germany and North America to explore innovative participation in public urban green space in 2016. The research crosses over between areas of interest and work: social arts, urban green space, people and nature.

Alongside my work as an artist, I work as the Community Projects Manager for South West London Environment Network in London supporting friends of parks groups and producing partnership and neighbourhood events and projects.

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My research is focused on urban parks and green space in relation to public engagement through social arts practice, design and planning, urban farming and gardening. I am travelling to Berlin and Hamburg in June 2016, and Vancouver Canada and Portland US in September and October 2016.

I’m on a quest to:

– find inspiring, engaging and achievable examples of projects, design and management that bring about well-being for people and nature in public urban green space, particularly using social arts practice.

– meet and dialogue with people and organisations across the spectrum that make it happen: social artists, management and programming agencies, government departments, academic institutions, activists and park users

– study the innovative ways that other cities are enabling cohesive neighbourhoods through focusing on the their green spaces, and the infrastructure and management models using social art, design and participation to make these connections.

At the end of the Fellowship, I will be sharing the research through a report, a ‘toolkit’ and a short film to green space managers and networks, to artists, makers and producers in the UK and through relevant global networks, and of course back to all the people who participated in the research.

Blog posts documenting research in the parks, green spaces, projects and organisations:

Berlin – June 2016:

Impossible Forest – Jared Gradinger’s garden at Ufer Studios, Wedding

Daniel Seiple, Skulpturen Park and ZK/U

Tempelhofer Feld

Park am Gleistreieck

Princezzinnen Garten – urban commons, learning and growing

Langer Tag der StadtNatur – The Long Day of Nature

Intercultural Gardens & Urban Farming

Vancouver, Canada – September 2016

Iris Film Collective at the Falaise Park Fieldhouse – a meeting with Lisa G

Artists in Fieldhouses Programme – an interview with arts programmers Cyndy Chwelos and Danita Noyes, Vancouver Park Board

Moon Festival at Renfrew Ravine and Park and the return of the Salmon – a conversation with Carmen Rosen about environmental action and the arts

Mr Fire-man at the Maclean Park Fieldhouse – a Tuesday night wood carving

Bike Power at Hadden Park Fieldhouse – bike inspired making with Publik Secrets

The Bird Project, Queen Elizabeth Fieldhouse, Vancouver – a meeting with Jesse Garbe

Portland, Oregon, USA – October 2016

Alliance of Artist Communities Conference in Portland

Psst – a Portland State University Social Practice presentation and discussion about public urban green space

Creek College – an art – environment education programme

‘Hard’ Parks in Portland – Pioneer Courthouse Square:

Houseguest – an artist residency in an urban park

City Repair – a meeting at Sunnyside Paizza

Portland Ecologists Unite! – a presentation and a conversation

Signal Fire – UnWalking the West

A list of other organisations and individuals relevant to my research in Portland, Oregon.

 

The research report will be published at the end of March 2017