Placemaking Piccadilly is a community arts campaign led by Get It Done and Manchester Central Foodbank, striving for a new vision for Piccadilly Gardens and Manchester's public spaces...
A vision that meets the needs of its citizens and is inclusive to all, especially to those facing inequalities...
A vision for a space that actively challenges inequalities and acts as a beacon of participation, rather than consultation.
SO WHAT'S NEXT?
Over 200 people attended our exhibition at HOME in April 2022, motivated by a deep care for the transformation of our communal spaces, writing messages of support, suggestions and sharing personal experiences.
So what’s next? The next stage of Placemaking could be a forum where we offer grassroots groups the opportunity to outline the type of participatory projects they would like to be part of and bring Manchester's institutions into conversation to develop partnerships that offer investment and capacity. If you would like to be part of this next phase of the project please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OUR KEY ASK
We would like the Council, Piccadilly architects, cultural institutions, and key services to commit institutional support and capacity on a long- term basis to developing a community-led, participatory ‘platform’ in Piccadilly Gardens, with spaces, installations, programmes, and services specifically set aside for, and co-designed with, grassroots organisations, charities, and community groups throughout Manchester.
Placemaking Piccadilly was born from a desire to bring the voices and ideas of people who have used foodbanks - our experts through experience - into conversation with decision makers. We opened our consultation workshops to grassroots groups and hundreds of individuals across the city and ran a series of public Placemaking events. We believe that creating a space that centres the participation, experience and ideas of everyone in our community, particularly those facing inequalities, is the key to the continued success of the square.
Piccadilly Gardens is the marmite of Manchester. Everybody has an opinion about the space and the planned re-design remains one of the most readily argued topics of debate in the city, especially concerning the grass, the police and the wall. It has a history of anti-social behaviour but has always been the intersection of people from many different backgrounds, which is part of the site’s chaotic charm. The online council consultation in 2021 found that only 13% of people would happily stop in the space as it exists today.
"Placemaking means creating places, and transforming public spaces to strengthen the connections between people and these places. Placemaking is a process centred on people and their needs, aspirations, desires and visions, which relies strongly on community participation."
HOW DO WE MAKE CITIZENS FEEL THAT THEY HAVE OWNERSHIP OVER MANCHESTER'S PUBLIC SPACES?
ARE PUBLIC SPACES IN MANCHESTER REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMMUNITIES THAT MAKE UP THE CITY?
HOW CAN PUBLIC SPACES CHALLENGE INEQUALITIES AND HELP FOSTER A COMMUNITY THAT SHARES OPPORTUNITY AND INVESTMENT MORE FAIRLY?
This is a moment to innovate, to dream big and make our city and public space a beacon on participation in civic pride, placing the voices of those most marginalised at its centre.
The campaign coincides with not only Manchester City Council’s commission of a public consultation into a redesign of the square, but new, forward-looking leadership for the City Council which aims to harness the power of deep collaborations and relationships that come from the heart of our city, including the Council’s Public Art Strategy Review.
Placemaking Piccadilly grew out of the campaign Can You Hear Me Now?, an ongoing collaboration between Manchester Central Foodbank and Get It Done, platforming the experiences of people using foodbanks through creative expression.
During the creative workshops and discussions, part of the Can You Hear Me Now? campaign, people demonstrated a huge interest in improving the accessibility of our local spaces through creativity and conversation, sowing the seeds of the Placemaking Piccadilly campaign as it stands now.
Since April 2021, we have run; creative workshops with communities and organisations across Manchester to redesign Piccadilly Gardens and provoke discussions on the barriers to accessing public spaces. We have run a series of interventions and micro-festivals in Piccadilly itself to engage the public in creative activities including covering the square in chalk flowers, a Sketch Walk with local artist Freya Bruce, an alternative city tour with homelessness organisation Invisible (Manchester) and a Discussion Circle led by Manchester Central Foodbank to discuss inequalities in public spaces. All culminating in an interactive exhibition taking place at HOME in April 2022. Read more about the campaign below.
Whether you are part of a community group or an individual who wants their opinions to be heard, if you are interested in joining our Piccadilly Placemaking project please contact us at email@example.com.
For any further information on the project and press releases please contact Mimi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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