Research Question: How can public consultation and engagement events, help to inform the design of a Pocket Park on an underused and unloved High Street space?

Following the success of the Ebenezer Gate Pocket Park Project in Bedminster, UWE continued their on-going collaboration with Bedminster Town Team and Master of Architecture students. In 2016, the students started to develop proposals for an underused and unloved space at the junction of East Street and Church Road in Bedminster.

The aim was to enhance the public realm of East Street, to provide a usable and safe place for visitors and shoppers of the area that will encourage the use of the site and engagement with the surrounding shopping area. The site would become the link between the established pockets parks of Ebenezer Gate and Caraboo Square.

Through a series of public consultation and engagement events, the students started to gather ideas of what people would like to see on the site, and test initial ideas through the form of pop-up installations. Following consolidation of the consultation feedback, it was decided to form a pocket park with an emphasis on: seating; green space and play. The resulting design incorporated a timber bench, with a screen and planters to conceal the existing phone boxes behind and adding a green element to the street frontage. The design also features a maze and ‘playground’ game artwork to encourage play on the site.

The student project allowed the client to apply for grant funding based on a set of initial proposals, with options provided to further develop the Bedminster Pocket Park, at East Street. Following the conclusion of the student project, Bedminster Town Team were handed the project, taking it forward with the aim to make the scheme a reality and introduce another Pocket Park to Bedminster.

UWE Master of Architecture Students: Emily Clowes, Bethanie Hamblett, Charlie Ardren, Manuel Kämmerer, Hueyling Lee

Client: Bedminster Town Team

Collaborators: Town Centred (regeneration consultant)

Budget: £3,000