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West Howe now 5 A Vision for Physical Regeneration

what did people think about them, how safe did they feel, how accessible was each area?. The detailed findings were then shared at consultation events in schools, the children’s centre, library, and youth centre. Finally an exhibition setting out the findings was held over the West Howe pantomime weekend - the Visioning Festival - where many more people then input their ideas.

Design Council - Walkabout Training

The West Howe Commitment set out the need to improve the physical environment and facilities and tackle health inequalities. So the West Howe Regeneration Partnership engaged the Design Council who worked with residents over nine months to examine and analyse the area. This resulted in the “Vision for Physical Regeneration” which proposes a series of improvements.

Taking all these views into account the Vision for Physical Regeneration was produced and adopted by the Regeneration Partnership Board. There are 6 major recommendations: A new “heart” for West Howe, New homes, A destination park, Improvements to streets, “Grot Spots” improvement programme. - renamed Love Where You Walk, (See page 6) Making use of spaces around blocks of flats.

In addition a series of “small scale interventions” were set out, in essence “quick wins”. These include: providing features for informal play along streets; providing lighting in well used alleys; improving the frontage to the Henry Brown Youth Centre and various junction improvements, crossing and signage.

So what next? These recommendations vary in terms of the ease and cost of implementation. Some will need significant planning over a long period to assess viability, secure funding, and produce detailed implementation plans. Other recommendations can be more easily built into mainstream service delivery, although may require additional resources. The West Howe Regeneration Partnership Board, where the Ambassadors are also represented, will monitor progress.

Maps and comments made

Why the Design Council? They are a nationally recognised organisation with expertise in the built environment and a strong commitment to effective engagement with local communities. Their approach - Active by Design - addresses health and well being through the design of the environment and public spaces.

What did they do? The first step was to recruit 12 local community ambassadors to act as community representatives. They were trained, including a visit to a similar area in Southampton. The Ambassadors then led a series of walkabouts to analyse the whole of West Howe, asking questions such as: how well are places used,

Walkabouts around West Howe

Want to see the full report? Pick up a copy at West Howe Library or from the

Inspiring Change Shop.

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