The design charrettes are independently externally facilitated by professionals acceptable to both Look! and the landowners and or developers.
On many occasions people are asked to attend a ‘consultation’ on a planning proposal just before a planning application is submitted. Most of these are arranged by communication companies paid for by the landowner or developer to help them achieve planning permission for their proposals.
Many in the community believe barriers to good placemaking and design decisions is that, typically, consultation takes place at the wrong stage of the process;
Often when irreversible key development decisions have been made
After the preparation of designs
And often after much expense
Therefore the wider community is excluded from the creative part of the process, when local knowledge and a diversity of skills could help realise designs that everyone can support and are viable.
Team Look! believes passionately in design charrettes to achieve designs that everyone can be proud of, knowing their views will be treated just the same as anyone else.
In arranging a design charrettes we liaise with the lead facilitator and the landowners and or developers to ensure all relevant ‘stakeholders’ are invited to the charrette.
However above and beyond this all members of the community are encouraged and welcome to attend all our events.
Some of the tasks involved are:-
Preparing letters of invitation, sending them out either electronically or hand delivered.
Gaining as much publicity for the event including design work on advertising and paying for it where we cannot cover it ourselves. Including using our website and social media.
Finding and paying for a suitable venue to host the design charrette.
Arranging and paying for refreshments including wine on the report back session.
Being on hand throughout the design charrette to answer questions and give support.
For the Civic Centre Opportunity Site Masterplanning design charrette Team Look! put in excess of 320 hours of volunteer time ahead of the charrette and spent £2,774.89. The money was raised by grants and donations including a substantial donation by St Albans Chamber of Commerce and Kingston Smith.
We are very grateful for all the grants and donations we receive to keep Look! going from day to day including grants from some county councillors. As we arrange community engagement we cannot have a membership fee or any barrier to participation.
Vanessa Gregory Chair of Look! St Albans said “I am incredibly proud of each member of Team Look!, we all muck in with whatever task needs doing. We work well together and are always amazed at the support and encouragement so many people give us.
For many design charrettes are new and don’t know what to expect. It is always a joy to see people come along, give it a go and end up getting really involved.
Personally I will never forget the spirit of all those involved in the Civic Centre Opportunity Site Masterplanning design charrette. People care passionately about St Albans and that came over in spades with the designs we co-created!”