The Royal College of Art (RCA) has announced a major new research project to reimagine community placemaking and transport planning.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the current fragility of our interconnected world: from the importance of our local communities to the impacts on global trade, jobs and our natural environment. In response to this and wider challenges about the future, designers from the RCA, supported by the professional bodies of TPS, CIHT, RTPI, and private organisations ITP, UK Regeneration and MBC, have come together to seek a better way forward.
We need to create a “plastics” moment, as Sir David Attenborough did for oceans, in the approach to community and transport planning
Together with partners from councils, civil society and charities, the RCA have connected with three rural communities around England so that they can understand their beliefs, feelings and knowledge about their towns.
The three communities are Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, Haltwhistle and surrounding parishes in Northumberland and Lyme Regis in Dorset.
We will be using their experience and knowledge to develop a set of tools that will help them to reimagine how they can build their community together, improve the ways they get around their town as well as beyond and how they might share their ideas about the future in more collaborative and supportive ways.
As Lynda Addison OBE, former chair of the Transport Planning Society and chair of CIHT Sustainable Transport Panel says: 'We need to create a “plastics” moment, as Sir David Attenborough did for oceans, in the approach to community and transport planning.
'We want to create places where local services and activities are truly local or accessible and we need to give confidence to all sectors of society that this is deliverable, essential given the major challenges in society, and effective. This will require a paradigm shift in thinking and action and will only be achieved if it is supported and led by local communities as well as politicians and industry partners.'
The project will be led by the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre at the RCA and will include an interdisciplinary team from mobility design, architecture, communication and service design who will be using their creative skills to develop a vision of future community planning that is both inclusive and fit for the future. We will be sharing design insights and a prototype proposal from the project on the TPS’s Transport Planning Day - 16 November 2020.??
Stakeholders who have agreed to provide additional knowledge include Living Streets, Sustrans, The RAC Foundation, The National Association of Local Councils, The Centre for Ageing Better and Social Research Associates Ltd.
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