Winchester Vision: Harnessing community enthusiasm for change with an actionable strategy
|Client:||Winchester City Council|
|Team:||Feria Urbanism, Boyle & Summers, Støriie, Momo:zo|
Steeped in history, a thriving city centre and beautiful river walks, there is a lot to love about this city. But Winchester often struggles to develop its ideas into a workable action plan with no clear strategy, nor real consideration for climate action. This is a challenge faced by many cities: Winchester needs to harness and keep the good qualities that contribute to its sense of place whilst moving forward with intention. With plenty of passionate local people interested in the shaping the future, the problem lies not in what but how can Winchester be a thriving city in 2030 and beyond.
As the previous ten year vision document expired, Feria Urbanism assembled a collaborative team of like-minded partners to deliver the replacement vision for Winchester City Council. Appointed following a competitive tender process, our team included Boyle & Summers, Støriie and Momo:zo. Our study uncovered and connected stories and ideas from all sorts of organisations and individuals. From these conversations the project team were able to define five key topic areas to structure the next phases of investigation – Movement, Home, Ecology, Lifetimes, and Culture.
Our team produced a Handbook Pt 1 for each topic area, containing findings based on our own research. These first set of handbooks were designed to stimulate a debate about the most appropriate solutions for Winchester. Working groups comprised of interested local people were convened for each topic area, with ten people in each group. These 50 citizens were issued with the first handbooks and tasked with writing Handbook Pt 2, a response to the research and to be full of ideas for change.
Our bespoke process created a truly collaborative process: outside consultants bring fresh perspectives engaging with Winchester citizens that hold local knowledge.
“I would like to thank the consultancy team for their efforts in delivering this excellent piece of work in such unprecedented times”
Cllr Kathleen Becker, Chair of Winchester Town Forum on the Winchester 2020 – 2030 Vision Report
Building on the citizen-led research, our team was then in a position to write the final report, Handbook Pt 3. This ground-breaking report summarises the consensus attained by the groups and translates this into the ideas for change, based around three approaches, and underpinned by six values.
Our recommendations have created a significant shift in attitudes within the council about how it engages with the community around urban design and planning matters. There is now a renewed focus on how to listens to local voices and how to integrate their views into the decision making process.