On Saturday 6 February Connect Hackney participated in an Intergenerational Workshop hosted by the Strategic Planning team at Hackney Council.
This workshop was organised to share experiences between young and older persons to feed into the formal consultation period for the draft Growing up in Hackney Child-Friendly design document.
The team has been working for over a year now with young people and other stakeholders to get this document to where it is today, and this event marked the final one before the team went away to review, analyse all feedback to finalise the document.
The document establishes principles and design guidelines for Hackney’s built environment to ensure developers, architects and everyone involved in planning and designing buildings, streets and public spaces in Hackney is required to put the needs, experiences and movement of all young people at the core of their plans.
We know that young people move through and experience their built environment at a different scale, tempo, range and pace than their older counterparts.
But we also know that these groups have a number of shared needs, wants and aspirations, and, as our conversations over the past few months have shown, this is especially true in relation to older persons and young people.
So the aim of the workshop was to explore these wants and needs and the commonalities so that the draft document can create neighbourhoods for all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
In the workshop we heard that many urban design features such as safe streets, separated cycle paths, comfortable and sheltered seating, good lighting, access to nature, places to sit, dwell and keep active are just as important to ensure an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment for older generations as they are to younger people.
We also learnt that people valued having options to spend time in either intergenerational spaces as well as having spaces separated for different users and uses.
This event underlines that working together on issues can help us address some of the biggest challenges Hackney (and London as a whole) face related to sustainability, mental health, social isolation, poor physical health, unequal access to green spaces and much, much more.
Draft Child-Friendly Places Supplementary Planning Document: https://growingupinhackney.commonplace.is