The school’s re-enactment conference saw all 180 students who had participated in workshops at their schools come to the Arts Centre for a CIAM6 Re-enactment (10/07/17). They could see their models in a complete cityscape and discuss proposals with a panel of professional experts. On the day the young people worked collaboratively to create a contemporary manifesto for the town.
Young people said they’d like to see a better environment so that people could be more respectful and change their attitudes towards where they live. They would like to see ‘more pride in our community’ and more scope for people to be involved. And to see less rubbish as this ‘destroys the town’ – with more careful waste disposal and scrapyards for recycling. When considering the challenges communities and designers face today, young people had identified:
- Loss of habitats for animals and wildlife
- Climate change, flooding and pollution
- Limited land and material resources
- Compromised design and sameness
- Lack of housing affordability
The day was compered by an actor taking the role of 1947 conference convenor and town planner Jacqueline Tyrwhritt and offered children the chance to dress up in period costume and assume the roles of their 1947 counterparts. Partners Ordnance Survey provided a map of Bridgwater for a spatial syntax exercise, where students identified their communities and most regular routes (to school, family etc). Students worked in groups to devise their own manifestos for the future built environment.
Feedback from actor Chloe Green: “Just wanted to say how amazing I thought Monday at BAC was. Every group of school children was fascinated by the event, and I thought they engaged very well with activities / discussions – thanks in large part to the preceding in school workshops. I thought the clipboard sessions with panellists interacting with groups were highly productive. From new awareness of the built environment to building life skills (public speaking!) the children had a high energy, multi layered learning experience.”
The manifesto created by young people defined the subjects for the table conversation at the closing CIAM 6 Cities Re-imagined conference later in the Autumn.
Stuart Martin, Planning Officer Sedgemoor District Council
Chloe Westwood, Conservation Officer Sedgemoor District Council
Brian Smedley, Leader Bridgwater Town Council
Juliet Bidgood, architect and urbanist, CIAM 6 curator
Naomi Griffiths, Onion Collective
Photography: Charlie Granger