ESRC Festival 2022: Imagining Public Spaces

The Placeholders project is hosting an event to engage young people in the visualisation and redesign of public spaces in Stretford, in an effort to combat the marginalisation of young women and girls.

The Placeholders project, a research initiative between Creative Manchester and Bruntwood, aims to create, test, and refine a process for engaging young people in town-centre place-making, with a particular focus on public spaces, sense of ownership, and the barriers and opportunities in place for young women and girls.

This need for the removal of barriers and opening opportunities stemmed from research and data gathered by #BeeWell and Bruntwood, in which it was evidenced that young women and girls are too often excluded from conversations around public space. To combat this marginalisation, the Placeholders project wants to hear from young women and girls who live and/or work in Stretford, as part of Bruntwood’s Stretford development.

On 29 October 2022, the Placeholders project is hosting an event as part of the ESRC Festival 2022, which asks young people to think creatively and inclusively about the co-design and co-creation of public spaces in Stretford, from utopian ideas like helter-skelters in parks to practical ideas like improved lighting. 

If you know a young person, particularly in the Stretford area, who would like to attend this event, please register via Eventbrite.

As highlighted, the Placeholders project is a research initiative between Creative Manchester and Bruntwood, which firmly aligns with one of Creative Manchester’s three key research themes, Creative and Civic Futures. This is because, by ensuring community participation in the place-making process, a greater sense of community trust, belonging, and sense of place can be provided, which helps support the theme’s questions and research around community and place. In addition, encouraging commitment from longer standing communities and younger people in spaces can help draw in important resources, such as memories and identities, which can promote sustainable, collective and community-led improvements of town centres.