On Tuesday I met with the BAD (Barking and Dagenham) Youth Forum at The Vibe youth club on Becontree Avenue. We had a great session discussing what makes a ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ and how to create more integrated community spaces and events in the area.
The young people were fantastic ambassadors for Barking and Dagenham and had lots to say about how to create more inclusive public spaces where everyone feels welcome and different needs, interests and activities are catered for. Many of the young people felt they were misunderstood by other members of the community and often felt judged to be up to no good or feared by the elderly when they’re just hanging out with their friends in public spaces.
I’d like to share with you some of their ideas.
What make a liveable neighbourhood?
Increase accessibility for people
More green areas
More street lights
More diversity e.g. friendly cultural day
Well lit up
Near police station
Street arts done by all ages bright vibrant colours
Pairs of different ages hanging out
Furniture on the green spaces
Art on the road
Bringing people together
Furniture in the greens
Design/graphics on roads (name of the road)
Rails improvement design – smileys in the railings
And my favourite idea was to change the classic: No to ball games sign on green spaces to Yes to Picnics! What do you think? Shall we do it?