Seasonality in The making of a place

Mustafa Sherif Placemaking AFRY

Don’t forget the sun & the snow ☀️ the Sun-Snow ❄️
Based on our experience within urban planning and design dialogues and community engagement activities, most of the time children and adults relate to the current weather when they tell stories and their opinion about a place or an area.

Here is what I mean
☀️ I have a workshop during the summertime and the weather is good. I ask children/adults about the activities they do and the experience they have outdoors. I get answers with a happy tone and positivity.

❄️Same question, but it’s wintertime now. It’s dark and raining outside. The answers from children/adults sound a bit different, and there is not so much positivity. Sometimes the answers are so depressed. Of course, this has a lot to do with what an X place offers for them during the winter as well. Maybe they will sound more positive if this X place offered them a better experience during wintertime.

But my point here is that remember the seasonality when you explore and listen to a story about a place. Don’t forget the sun and the snow. Remind children and adults that we have sun and snow. How is it to be outdoors when it’s good weather and sunny? how is it being outdoors in winter? when it’s dark and rainy.

Because if we as urban practitioners only ask people about how is it to be outdoors without specifying a season, the answers might represent only one season. This might affect the entire conversation and the workshop, also the image we get about the place, and affect how we co-create and make a place.

📸 The pictures below are from a recent workshop with a school in Sweden. You can see me and my talented colleague Martina Pereira Norrman (Urban Designer at AFRY). The weather was &¤#! no comment 😦 But the output from the workshops with children was fantastic. We talked about many things including the Convention on the Right of the Child and the seasonality during our conversation with the children.

Keep up the good work
Keep loving cities

Published by Mustafa Sherif

Child Friendly Urban Planner at AFRY | TEDxStockholm | Public Speaker | Urbanistica Podcast Host | H22 City EXPO Ambassador | Placemaking Europe Leader

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