Organization: Hester Street Collaborative, New York, NY
Sponsor: Harvard Club of New York
” Here at Hester Street, we have been moving along with a participatory process for redesigning a section of Prospect Park.
This week, some Brooklyn high school students joined us for a lively design charrette during which they shared their ideas for the park. We held the charrette on-site, in the park, so that participants could experience the atmosphere of the area in which we are working.
One of the fun things about doing community engagement is hearing how different groups of people experience and envision a space.
The students suggested a number of playful uses, including fountains for cooling off in the summer and hammocks for taking a snooze. They also considered how other groups might use the space. They suggested that 80’s and 90’s music nights might be fun and easy for “older” people to relate to, a categorization my colleagues and I found disturbing!
We closed out the morning with each of the students sharing what they thought about the charrette. One student told us that being asked her opinions about the redesign made her feel important. After all the work that we put into ensuring that a range of voices are heard in our participatory process, this was very validating to hear.”