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Nature Conversations

Part of
Reset Spaces

For Nature Cities

MA 2020/2022
Keywords
Community Gardens, Community-Council Relations, Green Spaces, Nature Cities
Overview

Nature conversations is a collaborative service that allows communities and councils to create effective transparent partnerships to work towards their immediate green localities.

Collaboration
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BACKGROUND CONTEXT

As The IPCC Report states, cities around the world where concentrated populations live are at the greatest risk of climate change. Importantly, these areas also provide the greatest strength for climate action, leadership and sustainable solutions.


Looking at the context of London, for decades evidence has been building on the value of parks and green spaces in tackling complex challenges in modern society and their positive impacts on economic, environmental, social and health outcomes. However, this evidence has failed to translate into the sustained investment needed to fully realise the potential of  green spaces for our future cities.


Furthermore, The United Nations is urgently campaigning for The Cities We Need Now, in which sustainable urbanisation, resilient cities, and green cities are important components.


Through the research phase, it was evident that communication was a key pain-point, stopping the creation of a collaborative healthy atmosphere between community gardens and councils.


While each case study had a different issue and a different response, despite their specific differences and diversities, there were key commonalities in the challenges that they face such as funding, ownership, design, skills generation, communication and mainatainance, to name a few.

KEY INSIGHTS



One: the community and the council are two evolving entities. The community is not homogeneous, it is an abstract entity, constantly changing and evolving.

People move neighborhoods. A locality consists of people some of whom are immensely involved and other who don’t have the time to be involved. It consists of children, elderly. All these factors affect relations and the way they function.


Furthermore, the council is also subject to change, from teams to departments to individuals. They are stretched in terms of work. Some teams have positive relations with citizens, while some do not. Some members work only part-time, while some work full-time, and given they are an elected body, they are bound to change frequently.


Two: communities are resilient and creative. They have managed to work around various problems in order to achieve their dreams and have more ownership over their local spaces. They possess the traits to turn imagination into reality and ideas into action.


Three: building a relationship is vital, creating this trust for both to function.

How might we ensure effective partnerships between communities and local authorities, for better sustainable futures where the council and the community mutually learn about each other to create more trust and open dialogue?



INTRODUCING NATURE CONVERSATIONS FOR NATURE CITIES  


Nature Conversations functions through a web-based platform run by One Vauxhall (in collaboration with the council, community, and local charities).Tthe service itself consists of various touchpoints such as (a series of) podcasts, open days (every 4 months), and agenda sessions (every 2 months), which allow different users with different capabilities to participate to the best of their abilities.


The main aim of Nature Conversations is to create a communication channel between the council and the community, which allows green spaces to thrive and exist as part of a growing London while using different processes and methods.

OUR VALUE


In view that cities are at the greatest risk of climate change, Nature Conversations educates and helps organize collective action to develop green projects and sustainable urbanization.


It serves to build a strong base through specific concrete projects, as well as a methodology and culture of collaborative working between the council and communities, which doesn’t only exist on paper or online, but brings in an organic dimension.


And finally, it strengthens community inclusiveness by enabling different community sub-groups to work together, therefore, enhancing cohesion and social inclusion among communities.

SPECIAL
THANKS
Team
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