After the community clean up, Prof Anne Feenstra , Laurete global award for sustainable architecture 2012 (Paris) offered insights on why parks should be designed with true community ownership, He stated; The process of making a park is not merely building but, building and growing simultaneously. It is rather a progressive design than considering the architectural design as the conception of the perfect product. With this holistic care in mind, we invited the communities to be involved in the design process. The designers shared the conceptual plan and asked how their “ideal park” should be. Prof. Anne calls this The Pro-user, Pro-ecology, Inclusive design “Action Architecture” fondly.
Future users of this space expressed their needs and aspirations. Including children as meaningful contributors in the community, the building had a dual benefit: it brought more adults into the picture. As a mother, someone wished to have a safe area for children to play. If children’s well-being is compromised through restricted outdoor play the social sustainability of our cities is in question. It must not be overlooked and cannot be left to schools and parents alone.
We asked, “What changes would you like to see in your neighborhoods? How would you want to use this park? the boy said. I will wait for my school bus here. His words can be framed. In fact, this small park is designed with concern for children as the unifying factor based upon what we learned from listening. The kids joining us in the clean-up and the community meetings led us to think of designing a child-friendly place. Mostly, cities are generally designed for vehicles. We also noted that listening to children’s ideas kindled different ways of seeing the space. If we tap into their imagination and playfulness we can make the concept even more interesting. As children see possibilities for play everywhere, And Playfulness is good for everyone isn’t it
We did action architecture to feel and discuss the intangible dynamics and interrelation between people and spaces. It is because of the societal exchange these environments come alive, where bonds are strengthened and a sense of belonging is fostered.
By involving people in the design, discussion, and creating and upkeep of the place. We were designing both the community and the place. It is important to design a place that invokes feelings of respect and responsibility for the place. While planners, design a structure and give access, it is the community that gives it heart and vitality. This neglected place is now transforming into places of delight and quality.
When a place becomes humane, the whole environment becomes better for another species too. In this setting, the park promotes harmony and biodiversity by attracting birds and butterflies.