MeetingPoints is an attempt to intervene in busy lives and give people simple, easy-to-use, and non time-consuming tools to enable them to contribute to the development of the areas they live in. It will initially run a pilot programme as a nationwide tour testing what works in this field in different locations, types of premises, and geographies.
The MeetingPoints approach is to establish pop-up community centres cum co-working spaces based in key familiar locations within their communities. Locations include railway stations, bus stations, shopping centres, empty shops, and other areas where people normally pass through with, perhaps, a few minutes to spare. In these spaces, passers-by will be tempted to think about their local environments and to make suggestions for changes and improvements.
A key aim will be to leave a permanent legacy by making connections between people, pointing them to sources of advice and funding, and setting the ball rolling on important project ideas.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The prevailing orthodoxy is that society has lost its community spirit. Changing lifestyles, the dominance of television and other indoor, isolated, activities, and families living further apart from each other, are all factors leading towards people not having the time to get involved in initiatives to improve their neighbourhoods.
One of the key factors driving this social change has been the increasing tendency for people to live in one place and work in another. Thus they get up early in the morning, rush off for the daily commute, return tired after a day’s work and collapse in front of the television.
MeetingPoints is an attempt to intervene in these busy lives and give people simple, easy-to-use, and non time-consuming tools to enable them to contribute to the development of the areas they live in. It will initially run a pilot programme as a nationwide tour testing what works in this field in different locations, types of premises, and geographies.
Steps to get it done:
A typical day at a MeetingPoints project:
We arrive at 6:30 on a Monday morning and start to set up in a vacant former retail space in a railway station.
Within half an hour the space is transformed in a community-hub with maps of the local area on the wall, interspersed with blank sheets of paper for people to write their ideas and aspirations for the area on.
Free wifi is on offer via a WiBE Router (http://www.wiberouter.com) accessed via a splash-screen which collects people’s views about the local area as they log on. Laptops are set up on a corner of the room and commuters are checking their emails and train times as they wait for their train.
All visitors are asked to make a suggestion to improve their neighbourhood, and to leave email addresses / business cards so they can be contacted to follow-up.
Work continues to the early evening, when the MeetingPoint is closed up for the day;
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