Love Meanwood: Community as Designers

Love Meanwood is a community lead project that aims to enable and empower people to take part in improving their local environment. Meanwood is a suburb of north-east Leeds known for its park, beck, urban farm and community spirit.

I got involved in the project in November through my placement at Lemon Balm, who are a community interest company that specialises in horticultural therapy and landscape design. The end result of the project will be a Meanwood ‘vision’. So, what is Meanwood and why do we love it?

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North End – Interdisciplinary Masterplanning Workshop

To ease us back into the new term, the first three days after our Christmas break were spent working in a team with architects to produce a masterplan for the new North End Urban Village in the north of Leeds.

North End is an island cut off from the rest of the city by fast roads and ravine like motorway cuttings. The area is mostly light industrial but hidden between prefabricated warehouses are architectural gems that have potential.

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Design and Community: Calverton Cemetery

Between September and Christmas we worked on a live project in Calverton, Nottinghamshire. Our eight person group worked all the way from initial consultations and site visits to resolved technical detail for a proposed new cemetery in the village.

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Urban Scandinavian Childhoods

In the United Kingdom we live in a risk adverse society, especially when it comes to children in our cities. This is worrying as 60% of urban dwellers in 2030 will be under the age of 18 and our young people are the future, so what are we doing to create child friendly cities?

On a recent trip with university I visited three cities in Scandinavia, Copenhagen, Malmo and Helsinki. Paying particular attention to how schemes were designed with children in mind, I have written up my thoughts on a few projects that I visited.

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Light Night

For two nights, every year Leeds is taken over… this year by illuminated knights, stern-faced drummers and a whole host of light-based artwork. Light Night is a big part of Leeds’ cultural calendar, a celebration of arts and an opportunity to shine the light on some lesser appreciated parts of the city.

For the past three years, I have visited and every year I am amazed at how the city is transformed into a sprawling arts venue, entirely free. This year was my favourite so far.

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Thinking Urban

As I approach the analysis section of my current module at university I am reflecting back to some work I produced over the summer.

Taking an analytical view of a townscape is an important skill to master. I practiced on a town near me, Cirencester, wanting to improve my analysis skills and develop my graphic style.

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Cirencester Town Centre

Cirencester is a Gloucestershire town within the Cotswolds AONB. It has a wealth of history particularly during Roman Britain when the town was second only to London. In the present day, it is the self-proclaimed heart of the Cotswolds.

At the heart of Cirencester is the market place which has been home to a market since the 11thcentury. It is under the shadow of the towering Parish Church and enclosed on two sides creating a linear space. The market place became congested because of the growth in vehicle traffic in post war Britain, in 1975 a new ring road was constructed to alleviate some of this town centre thoroughfare however the market place remained congested, unwelcoming and an unattractive. 

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