Across the park

“My daughter and I were out in the park one weekend, just hanging out together. It was a gorgeous day and we noticed across the park there was a big group of people of all ages gathered. The kids were playing some kind of game and there was food, it just looked like a good time. So we decided to wander over and find out what was happening. To get there, we had to cross a grassy pitch and in the middle it was a bit muddy. We underestimated the challenge entirely, and both of us slipped and fell in the muck! We weren’t deterred though, we brushed ourselves off as best we could, and wandered over to the group. They made us feel welcome straight away. The mud probably helped, I think they felt sorry for us! Anyway, we joined in and both of us have been coming back to these gatherings once a month, ever since.”

Questions

  • In many cases, the life of a community happens behind closed doors. What are your communities’ opportunities to be visible?
  • How is your building serving you? In what ways is it a sanctuary? In what ways is it a boundary that walls you off?
  • Who might be deterred from coming to a new place, or walking into a new building for the first time?
  • As a community, what are the things you’d hope to embody when you are gathered together, that might pique the curiosity of passers-by?
  • When you are travelling somewhere new, what are some of the things that make it easier for you to find your way there, and to feel at home when you arrive?

Wisdom from the pews

“Connections with community spaces like schools, community centres, markets, parks, street corners, and “village squares” create visibility and an invitation to be known by new people. This can be about the location of any property associated with a project, but also about hosting events or participating in events where community is present. ”

“The architecture and position of buildings impact a groups ability to operate and grow, but also send a signal about their purpose and relationship with new people. Visibility and accessibility are great assets.”

Going deeper