Recently, I and many others attended Urbanized; the second film in the #cityseriesleeds set of films. The aim of the series, other than showing films in a great little cinema in Hyde Park, Leeds, is to encourage discussion and debate under the #cityseriesleeds tag and on various forums about how Leeds is and how it could be.
Both films so far have touched on the design and development of different cities across the world. The discussion in the cinema following Urbanized focussed on the community engagement processes of the various city design projects shown in the film.
Someone suggested that trying to get everyone’s views in any consultation just won’t help and that some consultation is just seen as ticking the box. A point also made, as shown in the film, was that perhaps smaller and different ways of getting people’s views might better help those tasked with delivering the projects. That it gives planners, architects, designers and those elected and responsible for setting direction get a gut feel, so they can lead the project forward based on their experience and mandate.
A few folk talked about how they thought timely communication at different stages of any engagement is crucial. Someone suggested that consultations/discussions are usually hijacked by the ‘usual suspects’ who shout loudest and are likely to put others and the little voices off contributing.
Time always catches up with things just when they are getting interesting but those present were asked to continue the discussion online. This post is part of that.