Taking a creative approach to consultation
We consulted on the Temple Quarter Development Framework from 10 January – 8 March 2023.
Reflecting the huge ambition for the area, the Development Framework is a large, detailed document. To ensure that as many people as possible were able to engage with the document and take part in the conversation, we took a multi-pronged approach to consultation. The longer-than-usual eight-week consultation included an online survey, drop-in events, stakeholder briefings and public walkarounds of the regeneration area.
To complement these activities, three groups of local artists and creative engagement specialists were commissioned to undertake additional activities, focusing on engaging with a diverse range of groups. The aim of this was to enable an alternative, more accessible route into the consultation, and offer different creative ways for people to give feedback on proposals beyond the traditional survey model.
Commission 1: activating consultation events
Commission 1 aimed to activate and support consultation events being run by the Temple Quarter Joint Delivery Team during the consultation. The commission was awarded to Play:Disrupt; creative public engagement and consultation specialists with a background in play and participatory arts. Play:Disrupt delivered drop-in events at Sparke Evans Park, Totterdown Tesco, Temple Quay, Redcliffe Hill, the Dings Park and Easton Community Centre. Separately, they helped facilitate a bespoke workshop with the Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Play:Disrupt developed different activities to enable people to engage with the themes and ideas within the draft Development Framework and draw out their ideas and hopes for the future. The drop-in events were run jointly with the Joint Delivery Team, enabling visitors to either engage in the playful Play:Disrupt activities, or have a more detailed conversation with one of the expert Temple Quarter staff on hand.
Commission 2: community-focused consultation
Commission 2 was a place-based commission, aimed at reaching the community in Barton Hill, an area immediately adjacent to the Temple Quarter area, and one that often has a lower response rate to formal consultations. In Bristol Studio and Studio Meraki were selected for this commission. In Bristol Studio has been based on Barton Hill Trading estate for 16 years and is home to a number of socially engaged community arts organisations, including Studio Meraki. Studio Meraki was set up in 2016 to help build stronger communities by using creativity as a tool to connect, up-skill and empower.
In Bristol Studio and Studio Meraki devised a series of events which were delivered at locations in Barton Hill, including In Bristol Studio, Wellspring Settlement, and St Luke’s Church keep warm cafe. These events included a women’s ceramic making class, a family fun day, and a cafe lunch. The creative activities were designed to create a relaxing atmosphere to start a discussion about Temple Quarter and what participants hoped for the future.
Commission 3: film-making with young people
Commission 3 aimed to reach young people in and around the Temple Quarter area. Temple Quarter is a long-term project that will continue for many years. Today’s young people will be affected by the change, and yet traditionally do not engage with consultations.
Artists Jo Chalkblack, Anna Haydock Wilson, John O Connor and Red Isaac from The Means placemaking consultancy, were commissioned to deliver this process. The team worked closely with a core group of 27 students from Screenology filmmaking school, based in St Philip’s Marsh, for a period of a month. The students were tasked with creating a film which explored the future of St Philip’s Marsh from a young person’s perspective.
The project engaged with a range of young people from a variety of demographics and differing social economic backgrounds, including young people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. The project also engaged with people living across the regeneration area, as well as in the St Paul’s, Easton and Lawrence Hill areas of the city, as well as with a number of groups, including City of Bristol College, Bristol Horn Youth Concern, former residents, and local businesses.
The output of Commission 3 was a series of six films, produced by the Screenology students, exploring the future of St Philip’s Marsh through their eyes.