I wanted to add a follow up about the play consultation on housing in Hengrove Park.
It was very evident in speaking to the children at Perry Court that the architecture of the urban planning could have significant effects on their access to the playpark and their experience of accessing and using the park. Currently they walk through a wide open space to access the park. They feel safe as they are in the open, able to be seen and able to see others. If the children are forced to access the playpark via an enclosed route- an alley or street for instance, because of encroaching housing, they immediately feel concerned for their safety. Older children can seem threatening for the younger ones and during conversations at the playpark we were told that the skate park and play park naturally segregate older from younger in positive way- they each have their zones. When older ones use the playpark, younger ones can feel threatened, so encountering older children in, and on the way to the park can be a worry for younger children. Older children are not the only threat, it could be adults too, but the main thing is that encountering people in an enclosed space is a worry, while being in an open space is good. They feel safe, watched and free. It is evident that if access route was to be constricted, some young people would stop going to the playpark, at least would stop accessing it from Hengrove Park.”
We used paper aeroplanes to ‘send’ messages to the council. Children wrote on the planes and we flew them into the cockpit of the large, blackboard plane.
Messages were very varied, lots about wildlife and space to play. The one that really stuck out to me as sending a message though was:
““Dear whoever came up with this idea- no offence but I’m not liking the big pile of houses because it’s just ruining the environment. Please take this.”