The Secret Life of York’s Public Spaces

A busy St Helen’s Square: What can we learn from seeing places we know well from lots of different perspectives?

24th March, 6.30-8.30pm
Cycle Heaven, Hospital Fields
Book your free place

How can we learn from the spaces we know well to develop brilliant public space in York Central and Castle Gateway?

We often don’t really notice why a public space works, we just know if we like being there. Good public space has to somehow balance being welcoming when you want to linger, with being easy to navigate when you’re on the move. How can we achieve this with new urban public spaces in Castle Gateway and York Central?

We’ll bring to this event lessons from York’s existing public spaces. Earlier in the day we’ll do a walk with a group of people with different perspectives on public space to do some collective analysis. Having experienced York’s public spaces together – the good and the not-so-good – the group will prepare ideas and questions and will lead the evening workshop. We will consider the needs of the young and old, those who want to walk carefully, amble and watch the world go by as well as those who want to pass through our public spaces as quickly as possible.

We’ll then look at the new public spaces which will be created in both York Central and Castle Gateway. We will work together to set some principles – captured in a draft manifesto which we’ll open up for more comment throughout the Festival of York Central – which can be used to shape dynamic and inclusive public space. This is your chance to explore the big challenges of designing new areas of the city and to help shape its new public realm.