Spark

Building curiosity, aspirations and positive networks for young people in custody

PROJECT PARTNERS 

MY ROLE

User Research

Service Design

COLLABORATORS

Ling-Yuan Lu

Luwen Zhang

Saumya Singhal

DURATION

Spring 2019 - 12 weeks

THE CHALLENGE

 

How can the Bradford City Council incentivise its citizens in becoming active shareholders of green infrastructures and in adopting sustainable ways of transport, in order to reduce CO2 emissions and shape a healthier city?

THE OUTCOME

 

“Spark" is a learning programme offered to young people in custody by a pool of supporters mobilised from the local community, who share their skills and expertise through engaging courses. The programme provides the youth with the space to explore and nurture their strengths and interests, as well as establish a positive network in their community which sustains them after their release.

THE BACKDROP

The City of Bradford is one of the main polluted areas in the UK, resulting in 4.2% of total mortality caused by PM 2.5 and in an increase of asthma cases in children (38%). Air pollution is mainly caused by private cars, so the Council is investing in low-emission strategies and in new green infrastructures such as cycling lanes and green spaces, focusing on the main pollutes spots of the district. However, citizens' adoption of sustainable initiatives is poor, which is why we have been asked by the Council to develop and test new ways of public engagement in order to support Bradfordians in shifting towards sustainable ways of transport.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY / WHAT I DID

 

The process itself worked for me as a prototype to test new ways of community engagement by shaping multiple design and research activities. The approach used was human-centred, starting with research to understand the needs and perspectives of both citizens and decision makers. 

 

Alongside with desk research, it was essential to engage with citizens and community groups since the beginning of the process. That's why I immersed myself in the city through site visits, guerilla research, observation and in-depth interviews. This allow me and the team to gather citizens’ needs and their positions with respect to air quality, mobility and the strategies undertaken by local authorities. 

On-street field research focused on collecting citizens' needs and perceptions about air quality, urban mobility and green spaces. The activities engaged people in an informal way and in a relaxed environment. 

INSIGHTS: BARRIERS TO CYCLING

How might we trigger a cycling culture along the area by enhancing and exploiting the current cycling ecosystem?