Pechakucha without the curry

For those of you who unlucky enough to be prevented from being at the My York Central PechaKucha – whether prior engagement, life-threatening illness or simply the unappealing wet weather – you now have the next-best thing. Yes, the recording (with slides) of all the presentations is available here. But no curry.

To avoid disappointment in future check our Events page and book early! Join the conversation and help shape York Central… …and enjoy yourself too.

Public Spaces – two local schools

About fifteen years ago I was asked to work on proposals for a Homezone – an area where streets were modified to tip the balance away from cars and towards local people, especially children – around St.Barnabas School. I spent an afternoon with kids at the school working with them to identify outdoor places they used, what they did there, and what made them work well. The children quickly gave me a long list of games they played in the streets, using only kerbs, walls, lamp-posts and other available props. They also listed things which were problems (including “teenagers”. We all seem to have problems with everyone who is a different age to ourselves).

This week I revisited St.Barnabas – in its (relatively) new premises, and Poppleton Road school. I again worked with the children to ask them what outdoor spaces they used, and what they did there. The list was very different – very few of the children described playing in their street. Many described places which were “elsewhere” in relation to home – the seaside, the zoo, even cruise ships. One or two described being discouraged by their parents – “my parents don’t let me use the garden in case I mess it up” while for many others there was no garden, and the surrounding streets had ceased to be their realm. But they did wonderfully creative pictures which are on our Flickr site. Children at St.Barnabas described places they’d ideally like to spend time here, while children at Poppleton Road described their current favourite (real) places here. I also asked the children to identify the one quality which made their favourite place special – a quality which could be part of the brief for any new public space in a new part of town, and the list was:-

  • Wildlife nearby
  • Places which you can use for free
  • Unexpected stuff – nice surprises
  • Fun and pleasure (and ice-cream)
  • (while we’re being greedy, let’s have fish and chips too)
  • Places to skateboard which aren’t always skateparks
  • Water
  • Places to chill, which were calm
  • Places to grow food (even Brussel Sprouts)
  • Woodland to play and hide (and also show people trees are things of value)
  • Usable outdoor space
  • Shelter to do things or watch other people do things
  • Places to play sports
  • Personal space, including gardens (whether on the ground or the roof or a balcony)
  • Places to stay such as camping places
  • Safe streets which can be played in, even if there are cars around
  • Places to walk dogs

I’ll be going back in a couple of weeks to talk about movement – how they get around – and will report back. Many thanks to the helpful and welcoming staff at both schools.

In addition to admiring the artwork in the Flickr albums, you can see how the issues the children thought important fit in with overall discussions. Simply go to our tags page here and click on any of the tags.

Meet the York Central Partners and Professionals

Come and meet the partners making York Central happen.

Meet the York Central Partners and Professionals
Wednesday 14th March, 7:30-9:00pm
National Railway Museum

As part of the launch of My York Central, we’ve set up an event where you can come along and meet the York Central Partnership. We’ll have speakers invovled in shaping York Central from City of York Council, Network Rail, Homes England and the National Railway Museum. There will also be contributions from key professionals who are involved in the development of York Central: Arup, Allies and Morrison and Aberfield (Communications). There will then be time for Q&As from the floor.

All very welcome. Book your free place here.

#CitizenMedia #York: How can we create a positive democratic culture online?

How can we use online spaces to have good conversation about the future of York?

#CitizenMedia #York: How can we create a positive democratic culture online?
Thursday, 15th March, 7.30-9.30

Throughout the Castle Gateway process, we’ve used social media to seek open conversations. Sometimes this has worked well and great ideas and thought-provoking stories have emerged. At other times we’ve not quite known how to respond, or how turn to cynicism, frustration and anger into to constructive discussion. We’ve also met some people who have said they simply don’t engage in debates about York online for fear of personal attacks and sniping. The danger is we all retreat into our own silos of people who think like we do and the sense of a shared public sphere where ideas are shared, debated and exposed to challenge is lost.

We invite you to join us to explore whether there is another way of having debates about York through Facebook, twitter and in the comments on the York Press. How might social media become a space for us as citizens to engaged in debate about our city? How can we shift the emphasis in local debate from what is wrong and what is hated towards people being able to positively contribute what they want to see? How can social media discussion support democratic culture in York and feed into local decision-making?

The objectives of our first workshop are to:

” Explore techniques for engaging well on social media
” Create a community of people prepared to go out there and try some new techniques and then feedback on how it goes, so we can all learn from the experience

Places are limited to 12. To book a place email Helen on
Organised by My Future York and Coaching York