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Laska Nenova - ISCA

Who are the priority communities or populations that the interventions should be aimed at?

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-          What is the area of the city you would like to develop the activity for?

-          Who is living in the around the area?

-          Who are the groups/individuals that are not already participating? 

-          What kind of spaces you have in your city – outdoor and indoor – that can offer activities?

-          Would you like to change these spaces?

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Indeed, key importance is understanding who the priority target group or populations are that the active urban space and activities should be aimed at. We need to understand who is living around the urban space and who are the groups/individuals that are not already participating in existing activities.  We need to plan and develop urban space for an active lifestyle that meets the ‘target’ group needs. We need to get a knowledge on the life situation and resources of our target group by having a dialogue, meeting them or visiting them. We need to ask them, not just what activities they would like, but as well what kind of activity are they able to participate in. An invite them to be part of the planning and developing process.  

For getting more knowledge and understanding  the target groups I recommend to read Danish architectural policy - Putting people first (Guide 2014), that can be found here:  https://kum.dk/uploads/tx_templavoila/Danish%20architectural%20policy_putting%20people%20first.pdf and it is developed by Ministry of Culture Denmark. 

This publication shows how Danish government developed the national strategy on architecture by focusing on people needs. We can use the document for understanding how to focus on enhancing citizens’ experience of architecture and their participation in democratic processes. Document includes good examples on how architecture can promote sustainability and quality of life - environmentally, socially and culturally and how education and innovation can empower architecture as a growth industry. It can inspire your country and decision makers at different ministries in your country.  The Danish government - Ministry of Culture is promoting a new architecture policy focusing on citizen involvement, environmental and social sustainability and the maintenance of buildings in rural districts. The architectural policy has been developed in close cooperation between a number of ministries and stakeholders in the last few years and was launched in 2014. Danish Ministry for Culture shared: “Architecture is for the people. It sets the framework for our lives, and it affects us with its values and ideals. Therefore, we must create towns and sites where it is pleasant to live, where people can meet each other in stimulating surroundings and where the buildings are, at the same time, part of the solution to the challenges of growth, energy and migration.    

Here, for inspiration, is also a local project from Belguim (Brussels Environment, Boulevard du Jubile 202, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean), that was initiated and developed by people: 

PARCFARM, http://www.landezine.com/index.php/2017/03/parckdesign-by-taktyk-and-alive-architecture/http://movementspaces.isca.org/goodpractice/000_186

Parcfarm is an urban farm in Brussels build on a former dumping ground by the local residents of Molenbeek. It was an idea of local people who responded to a call from Parkdesign project to create a park in the Molenbeek district that has been built around a glass farmhouse, a cafe as well as the administrative offices of the non profit organisation that runs the site. Parcfarm is also home to a communal kitchen, a series of beehives, an animal park with chickens and sheep, and a communal wood fired oven where locals can bake bread or pizzas. The project was meant to be temporary, but the success of the initiative made the city council announce it as a permanent fixture.

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