Tuesday, 4 October 2011

PLACE Pocket Park at Culture Night Belfast 2011

This year in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast, as part of Culture Night, PLACE creatively adapted several on street parking spaces into a small ‘Pocket Park’ inspired by the international Park(ing) Day

'Pocket Park' - part of Culture Night Belfast 2011.

The ‘Pocket Park’ aimed to highlight the lack of quality urban open space within Belfast, green and otherwise and to raise an awareness of the spatial opportunity cost that occurs when private cars are brought into the city centre.

The project , carried out through somewhereto_, was led by PLACE intern and Urban Design student Aaron Coulter, later aided by PLACE intern Sarah Goss, with significant input from a multi-disciplinary group of students from both Queen’s University and University of Ulster.

PLACE is the Northern Ireland delivery body for somewhereto_. Somewhereto_ is a key project of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, with a focus on the arts, culture and sport, and is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to create a cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK. Delivered by youth communications agency Livity in collaboration with media partner Channel 4 Education, somewhereto_ aims to connect young people with space-holders in their region to enable them to access free space where they can do the things they love and are passionate about (such as sport, culture and the arts).

'Pocket Park' brain storming session at PLACE. Wed 7 Sept 2011.

'Pocket Park' brain storming session at PLACE. Wed 7 Sept 2011.

"As students we rarely have the opportunity to work with other disciplines, never mind between our two Universities. The diversity of the group brought a lot of varying perspectives to the table which led to interesting discussions and an output that could not have been achieved by one discipline, or indeed one university group alone"
Aaron Coulter (PLACE Intern)

Following months of preparation and brain storming sessions the 'Pocket Park' became a reality as part of the 2011 Culture Night. After reclaiming the parking spaces on Waring Street during the afternoon everyone set about preparing an urban retreat with materials kindly donated from various organisations, businesses and individuals. The results of which can be seen below... 

Setting up for the evening.

Enjoying the parking spaces 'Pocket Park'.

Green in the city.

The Waring Street 'Pocket Park'.

The Waring Street 'Pocket Park'.

Children are often under-represented in the urban environment - Not in the 'Pocket Park'!

People of all ages enjoyed the 'Pocket Park'.

We provided chalk for people to express themselves in the city.

Children make their mark on the urban environment.

The 'Pocket Park' continues into the evening.

Awaiting the pizza delivery to round of a very successful 'somewhereto_'

The 'Pocket Park' group aim to work on a small publication documenting the event in the near future. The PLACE Blog will be the first to let you know when it is available!

Thank you to the 'Pocket Park' Project Team: Aaron Coulter, Sarah Goss, Gary Potter, Janet Hall, Jennifer Cromie, Andrew Kenny, Christine Falkner, Dan, Fionbarr, Hannah Cahoon and Jason Taylor.

Thanks also to to Dundonald Nurseries, Queen's University Belfast, University of Ulster, PSNI, DRD Roads Service, o2 Think Big and somewhereto_ regional coordinators Amberlea and Conor at PLACE.

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