Open spaces in cities provide us with picnic sites, shortcuts and dog walking ground; hideaways, kite flying, and breathing space – but how do local authorities evaluate the true value of these spaces? The task is often shared across several departments that have restricted budgets and time, and that also use widely differing processes, methods and strategies.
Working closely with Dundee city council I have run a series of workshops to develop a toolkit of design led methods for engaging with communities about their open spaces.
I would like to acknowledge the support of Gerry O’Brien, landscape architect, and Theresa Lynn, Environmental Arts Officer at Dundee City Council. Thanks also to Ann Lolley, Angie Hastie, Kevin Jameson, David MacDougall, Eleanor Ballantyne, Barbara Illsley, William Hoolaghan and the residents and staff at Servite House, Dickson Avenue, Dundee.
Sarah has a first class honours degree in Interior and Environmental Design from DJCAD. In March she travelled to Cuba on an Angela Bradshaw Travel Scholarship to undertake a placement with the Ministry of Agriculture in Cuba investigating urban agriculture. She will be starting a permaculture design course in September and intends to further her research into community engagement and urban agriculture at PhD level