RESEARCH AIM: To pilot methods of engaging with the public to inspire and raise awareness for community-led development, to challenge the standard commercially-led development for derelict buildings and sites.
The site in question belongs to the former Parcel Force Office, which is now in a derelict state. Being close to Temple Meads, it is a well-known landmark, but currently for the wrong reasons. Bristol City Council now own and wish to regenerate the site through commercially driven development. The organisation ‘SORT’ (the client) wish to challenge this approach, arguing the people of Bristol own the site and should be allowed a voice in the development. As such, this site should be a community led scheme.
The client required a consultation that fully captures the needs of the community – contrasting to the previously run consultation which proved to be limited. The client suggested that this might involve the stages research, design and piloting. This would form a ‘package’ that could be left with the client so that it could be used for further consultation and the basis for design. After establishing the community, gathering site analysis and researching precedents the group embarked on primary research in the form of community engagement involving questionnaires and open discussions with the public at multiple locations near the site.
Throughout the project the team heavily promoted and raised the awareness of the project via social media platforms and physical advertisement. This promotion led to a piloted event where the public could enjoy engaging activities and though-provoking talks from various members of related groups within Bristol such as Abolish Empty Office Buildings and The Island. With these new findings, alongside previous research, the team produced a design option for the site including a masterplan, phasing plans, perspective views and costings.