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Liverpool City Region Spatial Development Strategy

Report of PLACED Engagement 2020-21

Introduction

Between November 2020 and January 2021, PLACED delivered a variety of engagement events to inform the development of Liverpool City Region (LCR) Combined Authority’s Spatial Development Strategy (SDS). This followed on from previous engagement in 2019-20, which was delivered as a series of face-to-face pop-up events across LCR. Once again, the focus was engaging with those who would traditionally be under-represented in planning consultation, often defined as ‘harder to reach’ groups. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions, all engagement took place online through the following mechanisms:

  • Online tools
  • A website (https://www.lcr-ourplaces.com/) presenting the strategic objectives and the places people could share their views throughout the engagement period.
  • An online survey, accessed through the website, open from November 2020 to January 2021. The survey detailed the five strategic objectives and their sub-objectives, and invited LCR residents to share their views on the actions proposed.

Questions asked were as follows:

  • Respondents were presented with the five themes and asked to rank them in order of what they thought was the most to the least important.
  • They were then asked, as an open question, why they prioritised the themes in a particular order.
  • For each theme, participants were asked what actions they would like to see and what they thought needed to be changed or improved.
  • For each theme, respondents were presented with the sub-objectives and asked to rate them on a scale of 5, from “Strongly disagree” to “Strongly agree”.
  • For each theme, participants were asked in an open question whether they had any concerns or comments about the actions proposed.
  • Following this, respondents were asked questions about each strategic objective as a whole, specifically:
    • Do you feel these are the right priorities for LCR? Do you think there are any broad themes not included as objectives which should be?
    • If the objectives set out are all realised, what do you think would be the impact on Liverpool City Region?
  • The final question was an opportunity for people to share any other comments.

Education

  • 40% of the PLACED Digital Academy programme, taking place in September and October 2020, was dedicated to exploring the SDS with young people. Participants were presented with the strategic objectives and invited to reflect and develop their own priorities and responses to the SDS strategy.
  • A structured workshop developed for primary school children inviting them to design a neighbourhood after discussing the five SDS themes. The workshop was pre-recorded by PLACED and delivered online to Year 4 and 5 pupils at Mosspits Lane Primary School. Delivery was supported by the teacher or completed as a homeschooling task. Work was then emailed to PLACED.

Quiz

  • On the 10th of December 2020, the PLACED Ambassador network was invited to take part in a quiz mixing trivia questions and requests for general feedback on the SDS strategic objectives.
  • Thematic Sessions
  • Thematic “Lunchtime Conversations” were open to all and held over video conferencing, providing people with the opportunity to share their views and discuss a specific theme at a sub-objective level.
  • Thematic Facebook Live workshops were delivered on the themes of Climate Change, Health and Wellbeing, Quality Buildings and Inclusive Economy, aimed at Key Stage 1 children (Years 1 and 2).

Listen. Create. Day of online events

This event was held entirely over Zoom and consisted of various sessions tailored for different age groups:

  • A workshop for children where they were invited to design a neighbourhood after having discussed the five SDS themes. This activity was similar to the Mosspits Primary School workshop and consequently both are analysed together in this report.
  • A Young Designers workshop for teenagers, where they were presented with the SDS strategic objectives and invited to design a high street.
  • A ‘Rotating Debating’ session where a rotating, open panel were given two minutes to answer a question related to one sub-objective, selected at random. Other attendees could contribute by commenting in the chat.
  • A quiz mixing trivia questions and requests for general feedback on the SDS strategic objectives. As this session was similar to the quiz held for the PLACED Ambassador network in December 2020, results from both quizzes are analysed together in this report.

All engagement methods were based on the five themes that form the basis of the SDS strategic objectives: Tackling Climate Change, Addressing Health Inequalities, Delivering an Inclusive Economy, Creating High Quality Buildings and Places, and Maximising Social Value.

Activities were varied in order to enable a diverse audience to meaningfully share their views in a way that suits them best. In total, in the region of 450 people were engaged from a broad demographic.

Postcodes from participants were collected when possible and the following table shows a breakdown of the results.

*50 pupils were engaged from Mosspits Lane Primary School, which is located in L15. These 50 participants are indicated as being from L15 here. However, the school catchment area stretches to surrounding postcodes and the exact number from L15 may therefore be slightly less.

PLACED provided an independent voice, enabling people to be open, and focus participants on the themes being discussed. This dialogue was key, with the discussions during events enabling people to talk about a wide range of issues.

Engagement was very well received; people were enthusiastic about the diversity of activities provided and each session received positive feedback. In response to non-survey events, participants appreciated opportunities for meaningful discussion with other residents and the commitment to including a range of voices.

Postcode No. of participants Postcode No. of participants
L15* 65 WA3 2
L18 13 WA7 2
L17 12 CH4 1
WA9 10 CH5 1
L8 8 CH6 1
WA10 8 CH40 1
WA12 6 CH42 1
WA11 5 CH43 1
CH48 4 CH49 1
L16 4 CH63 1
L25 4 L1 1
L37 4 L2 1
CH60 3 L4 1
L3 3 L6 1
L13 3 L9 1
L23 3 L12 1
L36 3 L14 1
CH3 2 L22 1
CH66 2 L26 1
L19 2 L28 1
L24 2 WA1 1
L31 2 WA2 1
L34 2 Other 35

 

Methods of Analysis

A wide variety of tools were used throughout this engagement project. Consequently, the analysis methods used were also diverse, and are described below.

Statistical response to the Objectives and Sub-objectives

  • Survey

Participants were invited to rate each sub-objective on

a Likert scale, with their responses scored as follows:

  • Strongly Disagree 0
  • Disagree 25
  • Neither/Not Sure 50
  • Agree 75
  • Strongly Agree 100

The total scores were then calculated as follows:

Total number of points / Number of respondents x maximum score per answer (100)

  • Academy

Academy participants were invited to rate their agreement on a Likert scale and the results were summarised using the same scoring method as described above.

Detailed discussion about sub-objectives

Feedback from the survey and the Academy was collected at a strategic objective level. Comments of similar content were grouped into categories and then allocated to the sub-objective that matched them best. Feedback from the lunchtime sessions was collected at sub-objective level.

  • Survey

The survey format allowed for comments to be counted and the proportion of each category was calculated using percentages. Results from survey engagement are

presented as a summary of the most frequently featured categories.

  • Academy and Lunchtime sessions

As these engagement methods were centred around discussion, counting the number of comments was not possible. As a result, these sections of the report will

present the main points of discussion.

Responses to the five objectives as a whole

In the quiz that was part of the Think. Listen. Create event, bparticipants could share their opinion on the strategic objectives by picking one of the following options:

Disagree                    Not Sure                    Agree.

The final result was presented as a percentage breakdown.

In the quiz held with the PLACED Ambassador network, participants were invited to rate how much they agreed with the list of sub-objectives on a Likert. The final results were calculated into a percentage, using the scale method previously described.

Thematic discussions

  • Listen. Create Children’s and Teenager Workshops, Mosspits Primary School Workshop

These workshops invited children to reflect on the five strategic objective themes and to discuss them before designing a neighbourhood. Findings presented in this

report from these sessions are the main discussion points and the most frequently featured design elements.

Facebook Live Workshops

Results from these workshops are presented as a summary of the main discussion points from the chat facility.

Rotating Debating

Results from this event are presented as a summary of the main talking points from spoken and written contributions. 

Phrasing of Objectives

In order to ensure that the wording of the objectives and sub-objectives were accessible to as many people as possible, PLACED rephrased them for the engagement events. This was done in consultation with LCR. The following table compares the original phrasing with that of PLACED engagement.

 

Strategic Objective 1: Tackling climate change and creating a greener City Region
LCR PLACED
Driving up standards and securing opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping to meet the City Region’s target of carbon ‘net zero’ by 2040. Addressing the climate emergency directly by committing to the City Region being carbon ‘net zero’ by 2040. Net zero means cutting greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon

dioxide, to as close to zero as possible.

Increasing resilience to the effects of Climate Change, ensuring its impacts do not lead to social and economic inequalities. Protecting areas and communities that are vulnerable to the impact of climate change, such as high risk of flooding, to ensure it doesn’t lead to further social and economic

inequalities.

Ensuring the most effective use of land, maximising the potential to utilise brownfield land, reducing the need to travel and securing environmental improvements from new

development.

Using land responsibly, reusing sites which have previously been developed on and reducing the environmental long-term impact of new developments. Transport hubs, community and retail facilities should be easily accessible.
Protecting and improving our valued green spaces and natural environment for the long-term benefit of all. Protecting and improving our valued green spaces and natural environment for the long-term benefit of all.
Managing and utilising resources in a sustainable and responsible way, facilitating clean and renewable energy generation, greater energy efficiency, greener transport

and a circular economy.

Managing and using resources in a sustainable and responsible way, including a focus on producing clean and renewable energy, ensuring developments are more energy efficient, providing greener transport and focusing on the reuse of materials and reduction of waste.

 

Strategic Objective 2: Addressing health inequalities and creating a healthier City Region
LCR PLACED
Improving the conditions in which people and our future generations are born, live, work and age. Improve the conditions in which people and our future generations are born, live, work and age.
Ensuring that development contributes to reducing inequalities in health and well being. Ensure that developments are high quality for all and contribute to reducing inequalities in health and wellbeing.
Shaping and harnessing the environment to enable healthy and active lifestyles. Shape the environment to enable healthy and active lifestyles, including through investment in our public spaces, walking and cycling routes.
Protecting and supporting the delivery of facilities that promote health, wellbeing and social cohesion. Protect and support the delivery of facilities that promote health, wellbeing and social cohesion.
Tackling poor air quality by raising standards and improving air quality. Tackle poor air quality.

 

Strategic Objective 3: Delivering an Inclusive Economy
LCR PLACED
Transforming the City Region economy so that it is competitive, environmentally clean, socially inclusive and future ready. Create an Inclusive Economy; one which works for everyone, and is a more thriving, sustainable, fair and equal

place to live and work.

Supporting the growth of innovative, sustainable and socially responsible enterprises of all sizes and types Support people-centered enterprises of all sizes in the City Region that have a positive impact on communities.
Redefining economic growth so that it values and involves the prosperity of all people and places. Ensure all places and people in the City Region prosper and benefit from economic growth, not just a few.
Connecting businesses, visitors and communities through enhanced access to digital and other sustainable modes of connectivity. Enable business, communities and visitors in our City Region to be better connected, enabled and supported

through quality digital provision.

Revitalising town centres so that they are renewed focal points for communities and businesses. Help to create revitalised town centres across the City Region that thrive and work for both communities and

businesses.

 

Strategic Objective 4: Creating high quality buildings and places that allow our communities to flourish
LCR PLACED
Facilitating the provision of the right homes to accommodate our needs, creating new and revitalised  communities. Ensure the right mix of homes are provided to meet the diverse needs of those living in the City Region, and support the creation of new and revitalised communities.
Ensuring high design standards to deliver beautiful buildings and places that are future ready, safe, sustainable, energy efficient and enable healthier and happier lives. Ensure high design standards are required to deliver beautiful buildings and places that are future ready, safe, sustainable, energy efficient and enable healthier and happier lives.
Positively shaping development so that it responds to and respects the City Region’s unique characteristics, creating high quality and attractive places where people want to

live, work, visit and meet.

Ensure new developments respect the City Region’s unique characteristics, to create high quality and attractive places where people want to live, work, visit and meet.
Protecting and utilising our built heritage and cultural assets for the benefit of current and future generations. Protect and utilise our built heritage and cultural assets for the benefit of current and future generations.

 

Strategic Objective 5: Maximising Social Value from all aspects of development
LCR PLACED
Requiring those who propose development to measure and maximise the social and environmental change they cause Setting clear requirements for new developments to have positive social and environmental benefits, from design to construction, and that this impact will be measured, evidenced and maximised e.g. job creation, training and investment in existing communities.
Ensuring that social value generated by development benefits the users, occupiers and surrounding communities, particularly those that are most deprived and excluded. Ensuring that social value generated by development has a wider impact, benefitting the users, occupiers and existing surrounding communities, particularly those that are most

deprived and excluded.

Creating a framework that enables the scope and weight given to the social dimension of sustainable development to be fully realised. Create a framework that ensures developers are accountable and their commitments are delivered on,

tangible and maximised.

Connecting businesses, visitors and communities through enhanced access to digital and other sustainable modes of connectivity. Enable business, communities and visitors in our City Region to be better connected, enabled and supported through quality digital provision.
Revitalising town centres so that they are renewed focal points for communities and businesses. Help to create revitalised town centres across the City Region that thrive and work for both communities and businesses.

Overarching Feedback on Objectives

  1. Satisfaction with Objectives: survey

Three quarters of survey respondents considered that the strategic objectives and their sub-objectives were the right priorities for the future of Liverpool City Region.

 

Overall, do you feel these are the right priorities for LCR?

 

Yes                  75%

No                  4%

Not Sure        21%

Survey participants were asked what they thought the impact of these objectives would be on the City Region. From those who answered this question:

  • 26% thought that Liverpool City Region would become a better place to live and one which residents would be proud of.
  • 22% considered that the region would be more inclusive, provide equal opportunities and better support to its diverse population.
  • For 21% of participants, the region would be attractive to visitors and investors.
  • 19% said that communities would be better connected and work together in the future of the City Region.

Half of survey respondents answered the optional question “Do you think there are any broad themes not included as objectives which should be?”. The main themes raised were:

  • Transport
  • Opportunities for the public to get involved
  • Education
  • More focus on green spaces and biodiversity
  • Safety (this was echoed by 20% of the PLACED Academy students).

A concern raised throughout engagement was that people found the objectives too vague or too broad, finding it difficult to disagree with them and asking for more information and detailed actions.

  1. Priorities
  2. Survey

Survey participants were asked to rank each strategic objective in order from the most to the least important, in their view. Results were automatically calculated by the survey hosting website:

Ranked Objectives – Survey

 

Objective Total Rank
Addressing Health Inequalities 516 1
Tackling Climate Change 491 2
Inclusive Economy 372 3
High Quality Buildings and Places 355 4
Maximum Social Value 352 5
  • “Addressing Health Inequalities” and “Tackling Climate Change” were ranked significantly higher than other themes.
  • People who ranked “Addressing Health Inequalities” first thought that prioritising this objective would have direct consequences on the other themes.
  • Those who ranked “Tackling Climate Change” first insisted on the urgency of this objective.
  • Many people found that all five themes were equally as important.

 

Academy

The PLACED Academy students were also asked to rank the objectives after exploring the themes in more detail over four workshops, including reading the subobjectives.

They conveyed a sense of urgency around Climate Change.

Ranked Objectives – PLACED Academy

 

Objective Total Rank
Tackling Climate Change 128 1
High Quality Buildings and Places 114 2
Inclusive Economy 92 3
Addressing Health Inequalities 82 4
Maximum Social Value 48 5

Key Findings

The following provides a summary of the key findings for each objective across all engagement. These are discussed in more detail in the main body of the report.

  1. Objective 1
  • Ambition: Many participants feel that strong commitments should be made by the LCR such as the recurring statement that the net zero carbon target date should be sooner than 2040. To achieve this, participants feel LCR should identify who has the means to make a difference and hold them accountable.
  • Working together: Decisions should be made in collaboration with communities and local organisations, so that their impact can be understood and maximised.
  • Understand local situations and residents’ relationship to green spaces: It is essential to have in-depth knowledge of local areas and communities to find out what their specific strengths and issues are, and what they value to be important. For example, brownfield or some small green spaces can be perceived as very valuable.
  • Protecting nature: Green spaces should be protected, and new developments must respect the environment and include new green spaces.
  • Quality developments: Developing on brownfield alone cannot guarantee that a development is sustainable; the quality of the development is equally as important.
  • Change the way we consume and commute: Solutions should be affordable, accessible and safe. For example, public transport should be cheaper and more efficient. Cycling should be made easier and safer. Sustainable energy systems should be efficient and affordable.
  1. Objective 2
  • To agree on actions and strategic orientations, there must be a shared definition of what health is and what the inequalities are.
  • Addressing underlying causes: Health inequalities have a multitude of causes that cannot be addressed by working in silos.
  • Mental health should be included in the sub-objectives as it is an important part of people’s health.
  • Public authorities need to be proactive and hold other stakeholders accountable, in particular those who have commercial interests.
  • Solutions need to be cheap and accessible.
  1. Objective 3
  • Participants’ perception of an inclusive economy was about more than just commercial activities, encompassing education, charity and local community work, and the provision of activities such as libraries or places where people can socialise for free.
  • Throughout engagement, there was a strong wish to see a deep change in the way the economy is organised, with more focus on equality. For example, more affordable and social housing or equal employment opportunities for minorities and people with disabilities
  • The type of public interventions people wished to see included support for small and local businesses, a change in the way funding is allocated to social organisations, targeted interventions in areas that need it, and more education around equality and diversity in schools.
  1. Objective 4
  • Heritage protection is very important to people in the City Region, as evidenced by the high approval rating given to the related sub-objective, and the regularity with which it was featured in people’s contributions throughout all engagement sessions.
  • Quality and environment regulations for new buildings were seen as key to control new builds, but people also expressed a concern that enforcing this would be difficult.
  • People thought there should be more focus on existing buildings to be re-used, renovated and retrofitted, and said this would improve the largest part of their built environment.
  • Affordable housing for ownership and rent, was also identified as a pressing need, along with the need for more diverse housing typologies to fit individual situations.
  • Working with communities was seen as essential to understand what the needs of a place are. This was identified as a way to solve the issue of needing to agree on what “quality” and “the right mix of homes” mean.
  • Funding issues and competing interests were cited as a major concern for participants throughout our engagement, with participants currently having a negative view of private developers.
  1. Objective 5
  • The need for more accountability was a recurring theme throughout our engagement sessions. An accountability framework was also the most popular sub-objective.
  • A standardised approach is needed to ensure there is a shared definition of social value that all parties agree upon, and to allow developers to share good practice.
  • At the same time, it is essential to understand and base social value actions on the real needs of local people. Connecting and working with local organisations was seen as key in achieving this, with people recognising that developers who are not familiar with an area would benefit from local organisations’ guidance when it comes to social value. People acknowledged that these relationships can be tense and thought local authorities and the LCR could be involved in facilitating them.

Objective 1: Tackling Climate Change and creating a greener City Region

  1. Statistical Response to Objective 1 and Related Sub-objectives

Survey

107 people completed the section on climate change. Below are the ratings from the online survey in relation to the sub-objectives.

Climate Change – Survey Agreement Scores

 

Sub-objectives for Tackling Climate Change Agreement
Addressing the climate emergency directly by committing tothe City Region being carbon ‘net zero’ by 2040 96%
Protecting areas and communities that are vulnerable to theimpact of climate change 91%
Protecting and improving our valued green spaces and naturalenvironment for the long- term benefit of all 91%
Managing and using resources in a sustainable and responsibleway 83%
Using land responsibly, reusing sites which have previouslybeen developed on and reduc- ing the environmental long-term impact of new developments. Transport hubs,community and retail facilities should be easily accessible 81%

Agreement levels were varied between the five sub-objectives, with a difference of 15 percentage points between the most popular and the least popular sub-objective.

  • Academy

There was 68% agreement with the “Tackling Climate Change” objective as a whole.

Climate Change – Suggested Actions

  • Protect and create more green spaces / Tree planting 48
  • Improve public transport and routes / Make transport more

sustainable (electric / hybrid)                                                                   41

  • Encourage cycling, improve and develop cycle lanes 25
  • No buildings on green spaces / Renovate derelict buildings

and build on brownfield                                                                            24

  • Sustainable buildings / materials 19
  • Recycling 12
  • Green energies 11
  • Businesses responsibility 9
  • Reduce emissions and waste 8
  • Improve traffic 7
  • Pedestrian zones / city centre 7
  • Education 7
  • Clean local streets 6
  • Use local and sustainable products and services 6
  • Community involvement in gardening and maintaining

green spaces                                                                                                6

 

  1. Detailed Discussion About Objective 1 Sub-Objectives

The following graph represents the categories of actions suggested by survey respondents when asked what action they want to see taken to deliver on this objective. The main categories were then matched with the sub-objective into which

they best related and explored in more detail

  1. a) Sub-objective 1: Addressing the climate emergency directly by committing to the City Region being carbon ‘net zero’ by 2040
  • Survey

Comments that relate to this sub-objective described ways to achieve carbon neutrality through greener transport (39% of participants) and sustainable developments (17%). These themes are developed in more details below.

  • Academy

Academy students conveyed a sense of urgency related to the current climate situation and thought the target year of 2040 was too late.

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Participants considered a carbon reduction plan and a carbon budget as being essential to keep track of progress and targets. They also stated that a mechanism

to ensure accountability was paramount and suggested having an assembly or other independent external body.

People highlighted that the general objective of “net zero by 2040” covers unequal means of action and diverse local realities. For example, some industries might be ahead of others.

Additionally, it was pointed out that some local community groups have started working towards organisational / local goals, and that these could differ.

Participants considered community buy-in to be essential and thought that the focus should be as much on the process as on the end goal. They emphasised the importance of engaging with communities, demonstrating how carbon reduction will benefit them, and enjoying the process together.

The importance of including communities in discussions and decisions to empower them in the low carbon transition process was highlighted. Examples included

training and employing local people and engaging with grassroot schemes.

  1. b) Sub-objective 2: Protecting areas and communities that are vulnerable to the impact of climate change
  • Survey

8% of survey participants talked about the need for a more affordable public transport service, stating that lower prices would encourage more people to travel this way.

41% of survey respondents answered an open question asking for further feedback or comments on the climate change objectives. Out of those who answered this

question, 27% raised the concern of buy-in from residents and leaders. They wondered whether funding would be made available and whether people and communities would follow. Some insisted on the need for local communities and decision makers to work together.

Two survey participants said they do not feel part of the LCR, stating that their area has separate issues and a different situation. They talked about the fact that their area is rural and needs different climate measures than the more urban areas of the City Region. This disconnect resonates with a view that was shared frequently during Phase 1 engagement in 2019-20, where engagement was more incidental and had a broader reach across the local authority areas as a result.

  • Academy

Academy students expressed the wish to have cheaper public transport across the City Region.

  • Lunchtime Sessions

People gave examples of existing community-led initiatives and good practice that could be developed or influence LCR’s work, such as the Transition Towns Network (building community resilience) and Community Supporter Agriculture (local food provision). It was proposed that the experience and knowledge of those leading these initiatives could inform the LCR at a strategic level.

Two people talked about the concept of a ‘Just Transition’, acknowledging that not everyone is equal in the access to sustainable practices. The principle is that of ensuring lower-income and vulnerable communities benefit from the transition by having access to public transport, insulated homes, protecting working conditions, etc.

  1. c) Sub-objective 3: Protecting and improving our valued green spaces and natural environment for the long-term benefit of all
  • Survey

Green spaces creation, protection and tree planting was the most frequent suggestion, with 46% of participants suggesting these. 16% of comments explicitly mentioned tree planting.

5% wished to see more opportunities for communities to be involved in the maintenance of green spaces.

  • Academy

Green spaces were a big recurring design feature in the Academy students’ designs and discussions, demonstrating the importance such spaces have for young people.

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Five people questioned what constitutes a “valuable green space”. They stated that small green spaces that could be overlooked are also important, both for

biodiversity and for communities. Three people thought that creating green jobs would contribute to protecting green spaces across the City Region by providing maintenance and preservation.

Two participants also talked about community initiatives such as community gardens and “friends of” groups.

Thinking of green spaces in terms of access was encouraged: one person suggested looking at areas of the City Region that do not currently have access to a green space. Another participant commented that some green spaces that are privately owned should allow public access.

  1. d) Sub-objective 4: Managing and using resources in a sustainable and responsible way
  • Survey

39% of people who responded to this part of the survey stated that improving public transport should be a priority, considering it to be an effective way to reduce car usage. They thought public transport services should be more affordable, more reliable and that more routes were needed to improve connections between neighbourhoods. 17% also said they would like public transport to be sustainable

through an electrified or hybrid fleet. 7% specified that traffic should be reduced.

24% of participants spoke of the need for more and safer cycle lanes. The term “smooth lanes” was featured in several responses. Others talked about the need to promote active travel.

Sustainable buildings and materials were suggested by 17% of people. Green walls or roofs, solar panels, and the use of renewable energies on new developments were proposed, with 5% of participants suggesting this could be a new regulation for any new buildings.

12% of participants discussed recycling. Suggestions to achieve this included having more recycling options in blocks of flats, the provision of compost bins and

providing education around recycling.

10% of people asked for a better access to green energies.

  • Academy

A key theme identified by Academy students was that sustainable public transport and cars were part of the solution to tackle climate change.

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Five people commented that local authorities should deliver guidance on building energy efficient developments, setting ambitious targets and holding developers into account.

 

Education was considered to be paramount for this sub-objective: participants mentioned carbon literacy and training around recycling. A localised, communal approach to energy production and waste management was seen as a solution. The need to ensure sustainable energy that is accessible for everybody was also discussed.

 

Participants also said that changing our approaches to energy and waste management requires changing the economy to a more circular economy, based less on individual consumption.

 

  1. e) Sub-objective 5: Using land responsibly, reusing sites which have previously been developed on and reducing the environmental long-term impact of new developments. Transport hubs, community and retail facilities should be easily accessible.

 

  • Survey

22% of participants thought no new developments should be built on green spaces or on the green belt. 7% of people stated they would like to see more focus on retrofitting and insulation of existing houses and buildings.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

It was stressed that not building on green spaces versus brownfield land is not a simple issue. People talked about balancing the quality of the development with the quality of the land it was built on. For some, the quality and positive impacts of the development could out-weigh the fact that it was built on green land. Conversely, building a poor-quality development on brownfield would have no positive impact.

 

Additionally, the quality of green spaces is not all equal; some are poor quality and underused. In contrast, some brownfield is a community asset. Two people commented on the “15-minute city” and the importance of reducing sprawl and increasing density in cities to encourage more walking and

active travel. Two people also questioned whether new developments were needed at all in the current climate context.

 

Two people talked about Community Land Trusts and community-led or -owned developments to empower local people.

 

  1. Responses to Objective 1 as a Whole

Two different virtual quizzes were held. The first was held with the PLACED Ambassador network, the second as part of the Think. Listen. Create. event.

  • In the first, 5 out of 10 participants indicated Climate Change as their top priority. The overall agreement with the Climate Change objective was of 75%, averaging at ‘Agree’ on the scale.
  • In the second quiz, participants could share their opinion on the climate change objective and its’ sub-objective as a whole by picking one of the following options: Disagree, Not Sure, Agree. 100% of participants answered “Agree”.

 

Comments can be summarised as follows:

  • In the first quiz, 50% of participants saw 2040 as being too far away, explaining why no one said they “Strongly agreed” with the sub-objectives as a whole and its resulting score of 75%.
  • People thought it was important to plan these measures with communities both by looking at the impact on local people, but also by supporting communities that contribute towards these aims (for example, with grants).
  • They would like to see existing infrastructures and buildings being used as best as possible before building new ones.
  • For new and existing buildings, clear directions should be given on how to make them sustainable (for example through guidance for developers and energy grants for the general public).
  • Participants also mentioned green transport as something they would like to see more of.

 

  1. Thematic Discussions About Objective 1

 

  • Listen. Create: Children’s Workshop and Mosspits Primary School Workshop

 

Structured workshops were held with primary aged children. These sessions were designed by PLACED and invited children to design a neighbourhood.

  • Parks and trees were prominent across the majority of designs, along with some smaller green spaces and allotments spread across neighbourhoods.
  • Bikes and cycle lanes were also a recurring feature.
  • Animals also featured frequently: birds, animal shelters and pet shops.
  • Wind power and solar panels appeared in many designs.
  • The main challenges identified were litter and pollution.
  • Concerns for animals and wildlife protection were also raised.

 

Teacher’s observation: The children vocalised their points on climate change, pollution and its effects on the planet. They were able to discuss why climate change has an impact on the environment and as a planet. Some could reason their arguments and provide solutions to climate change and pollution.

 

 

  • Facebook Workshops

On the 15th January 2021, a Facebook Live workshop was facilitated on the theme of climate change and the environment, where participants were invited to build an

eco-school. It was viewed 375 times.

 

Children were encouraged to reflect on an ideal location for the school, the materials that should be used, transport, food provision, outside space and playground, along with ways to power the school. They were then invited to draw their design. Their ideas

included:

 

  • Using sustainable materials such as wood and stone.
  • Alternative transport to cars such as walking or cycling.
  • Proposed food provision to come from green or edible walls, allotments, green roof, wild garden with chickens and bees.
  • Ideas for outside spaces with nature (animals, ponds).
  • Play areas with a focus on outdoor learning, art,making and exploring. A lot of fun and physical activities were suggested, such as gardening or tree climbing.
  • Heat pumps, wind turbines, solar panel and tidal power were identified as good ways to power the school.

 

Challenges identified by the children included:

  • It was important to the children for the school to have clean air and a natural setting. As a result, most of them thought the school should be located away from urban centres.
  • There were comments around the materials used in the school and the wish to avoid non-sustainable ones such as plastic and electronics.

 

 

Overall, ideas and designs revolved around interacting with nature, whether through the materials used, activities, outside spaces or food provision.

 

 

  • Listen. Create. Teenager Workshop

 

Young people were asked to identify current challenges and solutions to UK high streets through a creative model-making challenge.

 

Solutions identified were more greenery, open seating areas, accessible and affordable public transport, pedestrian town centres and parking spaces outside of the centre to reduce traffic. The following elements appeared in many of the young people’s designs:

  • Parks
  • Eco-café, local greengrocer
  • Allotment
  • Eco-buildings
  • Cycling and green public transport
  • Birds and bees

The main problems that young people identified were pollution and a lack of greenery. When asked what the most important part of their design was overall, young people overwhelmingly linked their answer to climate and sustainability. They also  thought the main impact of their designs was that they were eco-friendly and tackling climate change. In particular, pollution and the need for green public spaces were

incredibly important when thinking about the needs of current UK high streets.

 

  • Rotating Debating

Observations made by participants can be grouped into main themes:

 

Community agency and education

  • The importance of collaborating with communities, developing local level solutions and drawing on existing local knowledge. Improvements should be based on real-life experience. For example, how safe and user-friendly are cycle paths?
  • Make solutions accessible to everyone by focussing on the most vulnerable communities.
  • Educate populations on eco-friendly practises such as recycling and active travel.

 

Quality

  • It is not just about building on brownfields but ensuring the quality of developments and the quality of the land they are built on. This quality cannot be determined by a simple brownfield / green space categorisation.
  • Some brownfield sites have a high ecological and community value.
  • Understand what local people consider to be a valuable green space; such spaces might be overlooked by decision makers. People agreed about the need to safeguard Rimrose Park.
  • Improve public transport routes, make it safe and affordable and build new developments near routes.
  • Plan, in collaboration with energy companies, for a future where local communities are in charge of their own energy management.
  • Strengthen links with nature and animals, protect green spaces against litter. Make places friendlier.

 

Challenges

  • Some communities are more vulnerable and will need a different approach. There is no “one size fits all”. For example, cycle lanes are very far away from being a priority or solution for some communities. Likewise, public transport is not always easy to use or affordable.
  • What constitutes a valuable green space is not clearly defined and can have a different meaning for different people. Brownfield land can have a rich biodiversity and high ecological and community value.
  • Building on brownfield land is not always the right thing to do, for example if the land is contaminated or unsuitable.
  • People and companies have unequal means to get to carbon net zero by 2040: responsibility should be fairly distributed.
  • Companies with a large carbon footprint should be held accountable.

 

 

Objective 2: Addressing Health Inequalities and creating a healthier City Region

 

  1. Statistical Response to Objective 2 and Related Sub-objectives

 

  • Survey

94 people completed the section on health inequalities. Below are the average ratings of the responses to the sub-objectives from the online survey.

 

Health Inequalities – Survey Agreement Scores

 

Sub-objectives for Addressing Health Inequalities Agreement
Shape the environment to enable healthy and active lifestyles,including through investment in our public spaces, walking andcycling routes 94%
Improve the conditions in which people and our future generationsare born, live, work and age 90%
Tackle poor air quality 89%
Protect and support the delivery of facilities that promote health,wellbeing and social cohesion 89%
Ensure that developments are high quality for all and contribute toreducing inequalities in health and wellbeing 87%

Agreement levels were similar between the five sub-objectives, with a difference of 7 percentage pointsbetween the most popular and the least popular sub-objective.

 

  • Academy

The average agreement with the sub-objectives at the end of the project was 62%.

 

 

  1. Detailed Discussion About Objective 2 Sub-Objectives

The following graph represents the categories of actions suggested by survey respondents. The largest categories were then matched with the sub-objective in which they best fit and analysed in more detail.

 

Health Inequalities – Suggested Actions

 

  • Alternative transport (not just cycling) 28
  • Holistic approach / social prescribing 14
  • Food 14
  • Improve services 13
  • Tackle poverty 13
  • Green spaces that are accessible and safe 12
  • Exercise (affordable / free) 10
  • Active public health programmes 10
  • Tackle pollution/ traffic 10
  • Early years and children’s health 10
  • Education 9
  • Access to health facilities 7
  • Community groups, activities and local knowledge 6
  • Mental health 5

 

  1. Sub-objective 1: Shape the environment to enable healthy and active lifestyles, including through investment in our public spaces, walking and cycling routes

 

  • Survey

Alternative transport methods such as cycling and walking were by far the most frequent suggestion, made by 34% of people who answered this question. 14% of participants considered that the provision of accessible and safe green spaces for everybody would play an important role in people’s physical and mental health.

 

  • Academy

PLACED Academy students advocated giving people opportunities to exercise and making sure that natural and green spaces were available to everybody.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Participants considered that those in wealthier areas already have access to exercise and green spaces, and that work must be done to offer the same opportunities in poorer areas.

 

Community gardens and allotments were seen as a beneficial way to educate and support people’s health at the same time.

 

While cycling was considered to be an appropriate way to encourage healthier citizens, some participants spoke of the struggles associated with the practicalities

of it, such as storage, purchasing a bike, finding a cycling group, or concerns over safety on the road.

 

 

  1. Sub-objective 2: Improve the conditions in which people and our future generations are born, live, work and age

 

  • Survey

17% of people who completed the “Health” section of the survey considered that food and improving nutrition was a key element to addressing health inequalities. 12% specifically spoke about the need for healthy school meals and the importance of improving early years children’s health.

 

Tackling poverty was seen as key by 16% of respondents. They considered that health inequalities were mostly due to poverty for a variety of reasons, such as a lack of access to health services, living in polluted areas, poor working conditions or bad housing conditions.

 

  • Academy

Many PLACED Academy students were conscious that solutions to improve someone’s health can be costly and therefore not accessible to everybody. They believed that solutions developed by LCR need to be affordable.

 

Stronger communities were also seen as an important part of what constitutes a population’s health and wellbeing.

 

Students also pointed out that the way people assess safety will impact their behaviour. They gave the example of cycling and stated that many people see it as unsafe, and therefore won’t use this mode of transport.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

The importance of nutrition and education for people of all ages was also considered important by  Lunchtime Sessions participants. They thought there was a lack of education on health and wellbeing overall.

Participants agreed on the fact that health issues are not just the consequence of personal choices, and that poverty plays a big role. They stated that healthy food should be affordable.

 

The discussion also touched on the idea that a holistic and more nuanced approach to health was needed: cycle hubs and tree planting were seen as “quick fixes” that would not be enough to address health inequalities as a whole.

 

  1. Sub-objective 3: Tackle poor air quality
  • Survey

12% of respondents commented that action to tackle pollution and traffic was needed to address general health issues in the City Region.

 

This sub-objective was not discussed in detail in the Academy or the Lunchtime Sessions.

 

  1. Sub-objective 4: Protect and support the delivery of facilities that promote health, wellbeing and social cohesion

 

  • Survey

The need for a global, holistic approach to health was evoked by 17% of respondents who considered that causes for ill health were multiple and complex and could include societal factors such job opportunities, the stresses of poverty or loneliness.

 

16% considered that it was essential to ensure that all parts of the LCR had quick and easy access to hospital, GP surgeries and other specialist care services. They also asked for these services to stretch further so it can include advice and more time to listen to patients.

 

Active public health programmes were evoked by 12% of participants who would like to see more preventative measures to be taken and better communication on healthy lifestyles.

 

10% of respondents suggested exercise should be affordable or free to ensure everyone can access it.

 

  • Academy

Students emphasised the importance of mental health as they felt it is often seen as a secondary concern. They also asked for special attention to be given to affordable solutions and talked about the need to avoid a class divide.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Parts of the conversation saw participants expressing their wish for more communication around health and the support available. They discussed numerous instances where work is already done on the ground and pointed out that most people and organisations do not know about them. They also considered that a high number of people in the general public don’t know the type of health treatments that they need.

 

Mental health support and tackling isolation of young and older people were seen as a key part of addressing health inequalities.

 

  1. Sub-objective 5: Ensure that developments are high quality for all and contribute to reducing inequalities in health and wellbeing

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Much of the conversation recommended focussing on existing buildings which already constitute the existing majority of the built environment. They thought more could be made of what already exists and suggested using a local development approach collaborating with local residents.

 

Safety and security in the built environment were seen as an issue affecting older and younger people.

Participants spoke of the need for applying design principles in buildings and in the public realm that encourage interaction between generations.

 

  1. Responses to Objective 2 as a Whole

 

  • Survey

Half of those who completed the “Addressing Health Inequalities” section of the survey answered the

optional question “Do you have concerns of comments about the actions proposed?”. The most frequent comments are summarised below:

 

  • 27% thought the sub-objectives were too vague and not action-focussed enough.
  • 20% questioned whether there would be the buy-in from leaders, funding and staff needed to achieve these sub-objectives.
  • 14% insisted on the importance of working with communities based on local knowledge of issues and needs.
  • 11% pointed out that they felt unclear about what health inequalities are and what causes them.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

A concern raised during the Lunchtime Session was the risk of adopting a Liverpool-centric approach.

 

Attendees thought there was a real disparity across LCR as some initiatives do not stretch to the areas further away from the centre, for example the provision of bike storage at train stations.

 

  • Listen. Create Quiz and Ambassador Quiz

The Ambassador quiz invited participants to rate their agreement with the sub-objectives on a 5-point scale. The total agreement was 72%. Health was also the second most voted priority, behind tackling climate change.

 

During the Fun day quiz, 100% of participants said they agreed with the objectives generally.

Participants thought it was key to bring people out of poverty and tackle inequality. They asked for decisionmakers to make solutions, such as cycling, affordable.

 

Air quality was also seen as especially important.

 

  1. Thematic Discussions About Objective 2

 

  • Listen. Create: Children’s Workshop and Mosspits Primary School Workshop

As part of their designs for an ideal neighbourhood, children included sports facilities (outdoors and gyms), play areas, libraries, food shops, hospitals, affordable housing, cycling and pets.

 

What came out of the health and wellbeing-related elements of their designs was the need for enjoyable places to go to, and a wide range of activities such as exercise, reading or playing with pets.

 

Health and wellbeing was, along with the environment, the theme that children were the most confident talking about.

 

  • Facebook Workshops

This live workshop was held on the 22nd of January 2021 and viewed 231 times. The activity proposed for this Facebook workshop was to plan a Health and Wellbeing Festival.

 

Children’s ideas for the festival included nutritive food and vegetables, exercise and activities to support mental health.

 

When asked what kind of health activities can keep us happy, children thought of playing with pets, walking in nature, being creative and socialising.

 

Overall, the children generated many creative ideas to cater to the festival visitors’ physical and mental needs.

 

In particular, nature and animals were very present.

 

  • Listen. Create. Teenager Workshop

Ideas for better high streets consisted of:

  • Community spaces,
  • Activities that promote socialising and health such as gardening or exercising,
  • Catering for diverse needs: disabilities (smooth pavements but also noise reduction), homelessness (shelters),
  • Making places and activities more affordable and accessible.

 

Health-related issues with the high street identified by participants included being dirty, loud, unsafe and polluted.

 

Participants put a large emphasis on community and cleanliness. They thought the high street should be a place where people feel relaxed, happy and safe.

 

  • Rotating Debating

Contributions included the idea that whilst developers have a role to play, other relevant organisations, such as local authorities and health services, should also play an active role. The design and layout of buildings and spaces should create benefits not just for those living in them but those communities living in nearby areas.

 

Participants found it difficult to know where to start when considering addressing health inequalities as a whole. Participants thought it would make sense to start with the younger generation and always think about the community aspect of any action taken.

 

Attendees thought the first step should be to see whether existing facilities are fit for purpose and to perform regular checks. In a situation of financial strain decisions should be based upon equality, and towards solutions such as social enterprises where investment can potentially make a larger impact.

 

Challenges identified during this session included:

  • Currently commercial interests are seen to be opposed to the public interest when it comes to protecting people’s health and wellbeing. There is also perceived to be a financial strain on local authorities that make it difficult to develop effective solutions.
  • Behaviour change was seen as a key element to addressing health inequalities, but it was acknowledged that this is a difficult thing to achieve in terms of ethics and practicalities.
  • Air quality was seen as a “common denominator”, but as it is not visible (as opposed to building developments on the green belt, for example) it was felt there was less awareness of this issue. It was suggested that this needs to go higher up the agenda with stronger monitoring and enforcement. It was felt that at the moment, efforts in this area are not consistent.

 

 

Delivering an Inclusive Economy

  1. Statistical Response to Objective 3 and Related Sub-objectives

 

  • Survey

Below are the average ratings of the sub-objectives from the online survey. 85 people completed the section on inclusive economy.

 

 

Sub-objectives for Delivering an Inclusive Economy Agreement
Ensure all places and people in the City Region prosper andbenefit from economic growth, not just a few 92%
Help to create revitalised town centres across the City Regionthat thrive and work for both communities and businesses 89%
Support people-centred enterprises of all sizes in the CityRegion that have a positive impact on communities 87%
Create an Inclusive Economy; one which works for everyone, andis a more thriving, sustainable, fair and equal place to live and work 87%
Enable business, communities and visitors in our CityRegion to be better connected, enabled and supportedthrough quality digital provision 82%

Agreement levels were similar between the top four most popular sub-objectives, with a difference of 5percentage points between the first and the fourth sub-objective. The difference between the fourth andfifth sub-objective is also of five percentage points, showing that support for this action was lower than therest.

 

  • Academy

This theme received a 62% agreement at the end of the project.

 

Inclusive Economy – Suggested Actions

  • Equality for minorities 14
  • School / Education 12
  • Invest in poor areas 10
  • Local businesses 10
  • Community involvement 6
  • Include all abilities 5
  • Housing and development 5
  • City areas 5
  • Income policies 4
  • Transport 3
  • Work support 3
  • Include special requirement when commissioning 3
  • Extended supply chain             1

 

 

  1. Detailed Discussion About Objective 3 Sub-Objectives

The following graph represents the categories of actions suggested by survey respondents. The largest categories were then matched with the sub-objective that fitted best and explored in more detail.

 

  1. Sub-objective 1: Ensure all places and people in the City Region prosper and benefit from economic growth, not just a few

 

  • Survey

18% of survey respondents raised the importance of giving people equal opportunities should start at

school or in education. They talked about the importance of providing the same quality of education

and the same levels of funding across the region, and also contributed ideas about inviting external people into classrooms to teach about equality and diversity.

 

Investing in less affluent areas was seen as key by 17% of participants. 9% thought investment was needed in areas of the region outside of Liverpool city centre, that they felt were currently overlooked. 8% thought targeting disadvantaged areas in particular would have a ripple effect that will benefit the whole region.

 

  • Academy

Students thought public transport and cycling facilities were instrumental in giving more opportunities to areas that are currently not well connected.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Diversity of decision-makers on boards was seen as crucial: participants thought those making decisions should reflect the society they represent.

 

Participants also spoke of feeling fatigued due to the cycle of being consulted and not seeing any change.

 

They spoke of the need to feel that they are genuinely being heard.

 

  1. Sub-objective 2: Help to create revitalised town centres across the City Region that thrive and work for both communities and businesses

 

  • Survey

8% of respondents pointed out the importance of housing and developments, asking for more

social housing and shelters and less expensive student accommodation.

 

For those who answered the question “Do you have concerns or comments about the actions proposed?” 16% stated that revitalising town centres was a major concern to them, but that they considered it to be difficult task to complete across the City Region due to the rise of online retail and the fact that some high streets are naturally more popular than others.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Attendees declared that town centres should not solely revolve around shopping, and should be an experience in itself, with an “atmosphere” that makes them attractive.

 

Investing in the public realm was see as paramount. In particular, participants talked about the need for good quality green spaces and social spaces, good infrastructures and transport, for an overall welcoming experience.

 

It was also mentioned that business rates on high streets were too expensive and dissuading for small independent businesses or organisations.

 

  1. Sub-objective 3: Support people-centred enterprises of all sizes in the City Region that have a positive impact on communities

 

  • Survey

17% of survey respondents stated they would like to see more support for local businesses and organisations across the City Region, with measures such as accessible rates and rents for business spaces and providing tax relief.

 

  • Academy

Academy students saw local businesses and organisations as key to delivering an inclusive

economy.

 

They also proposed the provision of free public allotments, stating that this would provide people with activities, encourage agriculture and promote social cohesion.

 

  • Lunchtime sessions

Participants questioned what they saw as a model where charities need to form partnerships to win contracts. They compared this with the private sector, where two organisations that are competitors would not be expected to partner. They raised the question: Why would the rules be different for smaller and social organisations?

 

Partnerships and upskilling small organisations were seen as not always necessary, and participants thought there was a more pressing need to change the system to make it “small-friendly”.

 

  1. Sub-objective 4: Create an Inclusive Economy; one which works for everyone, and is a more thriving, sustainable, fair and equal place to live and work

 

  • Survey

21% of participants spoke about the need for equality for minority groups whether this relates to ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or body type. Measures contributed by participants to tackle this included providing equal pay, more opportunities, and more education in school about diversity and equality.

 

Involving the community (individuals and organisations) in every decision related to inclusive

economy policy and projects was mentioned by 9% of survey respondents. 8% of people spoke of the need to give employment opportunities to people with disabilities.

 

  • Academy

Students thought it was essential to address the current class and wealth divide and to provide equal opportunities when it comes to education and employment.

 

They also would like equal access to housing and affordability of everyday living costs to be featured amongst the sub-objectives.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Attendees thought it would be effective to allow local organisations to be flexible and resilient, so they are able to adapt to changing needs.

 

They felt that community services are already connected to local people and are therefore able to deliver projects and actions quickly and effectively. Participants would like to see more investment in and trust in these organisations who possess local knowledge, skills and experience.

 

They also spoke about the need to remove barriers preventing people from getting involved or accessing services. These barriers can be physical, social or psychological.

 

  1. Sub-objective 5: Enable business, communities and visitors in our City Region to be better connected, enabled and supported through quality digital provision.

 

This sub-objective was not commented on or brought up in the online survey, the PLACED Academy or the lunchtime conversation.

 

 

  1. Responses to Objective 3 as a Whole

 

  • Survey

About half of the people who completed the “Inclusive Economy” section answered the question “Do you have any concerns or comments about the actions proposed?”. Out of these comments:

  • 19% considered the proposed actions were too vague and difficult to understand how they would be implemented.
  • 16% insisted on the need for equality between Liverpool and the rest of the region, stating that the situation was currently unequal.

 

  • Fun day Quiz and Ambassador Quiz

 

The Inclusive Economy sub-objectives received a 75% agreement from the Ambassador quiz (equivalent to a score of 4 – Agree), while 100% of the Think. Listen. Create attendees said they agreed with the subobjectives generally.

 

Comments mentioned the need to promote social and local businesses and to focus more on tackling financial inequality. The importance of revitalising town centres after Covid-19 was also featured in answers.

 

  1. Thematic Discussions About Objective 3

 

  • Listen. Create: Children’s Workshop and Mosspits Primary School Workshop

Elements linked to an inclusive economy that were featured in the kids’ designs included:

  • Retail: Markets, high streets with independent shops (bakery, etc) and supermarkets
  • Agriculture: Allotments and farms
  • Activities: Libraries and gyms
  • Tourism: Hotels, airports
  • Places of worship

Their perception of economy stretched beyond shops and businesses, to include food production and services.

 

Teacher’s observation: Some of the children did not realise that supermarkets get their produce from all over the world and more often than not, that it does not come from the UK. After discussing this, children were vocal in giving reasons as to why shopping locally is better for the community than shopping at larger corporate businesses. They also discussed the effects this may have on communities.

 

  • Facebook workshops

The Inclusive Economy Facebook Live workshop was held on the 29th January 2021 and viewed 132 times.

 

Children attending the workshop were invited to design a business for their local area. They considered suitable locations for their business. Some picked a natural setting such as woods or a park, while others settled for an urban setting with a high street or the re-use of an old empty building.

 

Children were prompted to think about who their business would cater for, and the kind of business they would like to run. Ideas were very diverse and sometimes mystical, and included shops, cafés, museums and theme parks.

 

  • Listen. Create. Teenager workshop

Young people would like high streets to provide more shops that match their interests, small independent shops, places to socialise, some cultural activities. They spoke of the need for offers to be affordable or free as teenagers do not have a large spending power.

 

Some suggested that high streets should offer experiences that cannot be replicated online, and that they should have a unique “brand” or identity that makes them stand out as attractive places to visit.

 

Elements related to the economy in the young people’s designs included cafés and markets. When asked what they thought the impact of their design was, some said it was changing the economy for the better, with more tourism and less consumption.

 

One of the main issues raised by young people about high streets was that they found them “dull”, with too many shops and no places for young people to meet up. They also thought high streets were too capitalistic, with big chains and a focus on consumerism.

 

Young people thought that the current economic model is playing a part in the decline of high streets, with a focus on shops and businesses owned by big chains that can feel repetitive and is unaffordable for teenagers.

 

They felt there was a lack of places where they would feel welcome and able to socialise with their peers.

 

  • Rotating Debating

Participants raised the importance of social commitments from businesses. Ensuring everyone has access to digital provision was seen as one of the biggest challenges.

 

Attendees discussed the disappearance of “super retailers” on high streets, accelerated by Covid-19, that created gaps in the landscape. They thought this showed how much our town centres were designed around big shopping centres. They considered there is now a need for more diversity and flexibility of uses and smaller shops, to invite people to visit the high street for a walk and for the experience, not just for the purpose of shopping.

 

People also discussed the possibility of building more housing in town centres to help with housing requirements and alleviate the pressure on the green belt.

 

They also agreed on the idea that different issues, such as the environment and the economy, are linked and rejected the current vision of “jobs vs the environment”.

 

 

Creating High Quality Buildings and Places

  1. Statistical Response to Objective 4 and Related Sub-objectives

 

  • Survey

82 people completed the section on quality buildings and places. Below are the average ratings of the sub-objectives from the online survey.

 

Quality Buildings – Agreement Scores

 

Sub-objectives for Creating High Quality Buildings and Places Agreement
Protect and utilise our built heritage and cultural assets for thebenefit of current and future generations 95%
Ensure the right mix of homes are provided to meet the diverseneeds of those living in the City Region, and support the creationof new and revitalized communities 88%
Ensure high design standards are required to deliver beautifulbuildings and places that are future ready, safe, sustainable, energyefficient and enable healthier and happier lives 88%
Ensure new developments respect the City Region’s uniquecharacteristics, to create high quality and attractive places wherepeople want to live, work, visit and meet 87%

Agreement levels were similar between the lower three sub-objectives, with a difference  of just onepercentage point between them. However, the difference between the second and the first sub-objectiveis of seven percentage points, showing a much higher support for this particular action.

 

  • Academy

The sub-objectives received a general agreement score of 70% at the end of the project.

 

 

  1. Detailed Discussion About Objective 4 Sub-Objectives

The following graph represents the categories of actions suggested by survey respondents. The largest categories were then matched with the sub-objective that fitted best and explored in more detail.

 

Quality Buildings – Suggested Actions

  • Architectural quality 14
  • Reuse / renovate existing buildings 13
  • Quality regulations 13
  • Heritage 13
  • Environmental regulations 12
  • Improve areas and tackle neglect / involve in the whole region 11
  • Build only when there is a need / community land trust 7
  • Affordable and social housing 7
  • Accessibility and accepting / Diverse housing typologies 5
  • Build support hubs close to communities 4

 

  1. Sub-objective 1: Protect and utilise our built heritage and cultural assets for the benefit of current and future generations

 

  • Survey

The re-use and/or renovation of existing buildings was suggested by 19% of participants. The two main motivations given were the need for an effective land use that prioritises getting the most out of existing buildings before constructing new developments (10%), and the importance of improving the quality and environmental impact of existing buildings and houses (9%).

 

19% of survey respondents expressed a wish to see more preservation of the City Region’s built heritage. Heritage was seen as something that gives people a sense of identity and pride in their area, as well as a tangible link with history. Participants expressed a fear of losing this local identity and were worried about the impact of new developments alongside the demolition of historical buildings.

 

16% of participants communicated a feeling that certain areas have been neglected and wished to see more equality in the way investments are made across the City Region.

 

  • Academy

Students thought it was essential to re-use and renovate existing buildings in order to improve the existing built environment and to limit the environmental impact of developments.

 

They also spoke of the need to provide communities with equal access to quality facilities across the City Region.

 

  • Lunchtime sessions

Attendees suggested raising awareness and educating people about the local built heritage in order to develop public support of preservation. Making buildings accessible was seen as an important step to reach this goal.

 

Enforcement measures and financial incentives were suggested to encourage building owners to maintain and refurbish heritage buildings.

 

  1. Sub-objective 2: Ensure the right mix of homes are provided to meet the diverse needs of those living in the City Region, and support the creation of new and revitalised communities

 

  • Survey

10% of survey participants considered that more affordable and social housing is needed across the region. 10% of respondents said they would like developments to be based on the needs of local communities instead of maximising land value.

 

7% of people discussed the types of needs that developments should meet: accessibility for people with disabilities or other special needs, and varied housing types that cater for all age groups and family types.

 

  • Academy

PLACED Academy participants thought housing should be more affordable and accessible to ensure everyone has a quality home. But they thought quality spaces for all stretched further than homes and included:

  • Transport to link places and people together.
  • Meeting places that suit the needs of all generations.
  • Free or affordable spaces for small businesses to start and grow.

 

  • Lunchtime sessions

Attendees thought that the process of finding out what the ‘right mix’ of housing is should acknowledge that different areas have different needs. To understand the needs of each area, engagement with local people must be undertaken.

 

They also discussed that homes should be affordable and accessible, in areas that are accessible and safe for everybody.

 

Finally, some participants pointed out that car parking facilities and transport infrastructure should be considered in conversations around homes.

 

  1. Sub-objective 3: Ensure high design standards are required to deliver beautiful buildings and places that are future ready, safe, sustainable, energy efficient and enable healthier and happier lives

 

  • Survey

 

The architectural quality of buildings and places was mentioned by 21% of respondents, who wished to see more smaller scale developments with quality materials, that fit in the local context.

 

19% of participants spoke of the need for higher standard of building regulations. They thought designs (including the provision of facilities in larger developments), safety features and materials should be regulated, and also mentioned the need for regular maintenance.

 

18% of respondents asked for environmental regulations to be enforced on new developments, such as requirements for energy efficiency, the provision of green spaces, using “green” design elements, following circular building principles, and tackling carbon emissions.

 

  • Academy

 

Students thought design standards should include environmental considerations such as the provision of green spaces as part of developments, and the use of renewable energies. In terms of construction, they suggested re-using existing buildings, providing cheaper and better quality housing, and building spaces for groups to get together.

 

  • Lunchtime sessions

 

People believed that design standards should be set in policy and enforced. The preservation of green spaces was seen as something that should be part of design standards.

 

The location of new developments was thought to be an important aspect, with a focus on reusing existing buildings and developing brownfield sites.

 

People also considered that a greater diversity of designers would better reflect local populations.

 

  1. Sub-objective 4: Ensure new developments respect the City Region’s unique characteristics, to create high quality and attractive places where people want to live, work, visit and meet

 

  • Survey

The need for new developments to fit with existing environments was only specifically mentioned by 6% of respondents, as the focus for most people was on heritage preservation (see sub-objective 1).

 

  • Lunchtime sessions

People thought a way to achieve this objective was to commit to re-using existing buildings. Early heritage analysis to create context-specific proposals was also mentioned.

 

General concerns raised about the sub objectives as a whole:

15% of people who answered the question “Do you have any concerns or comments about the actions proposed?” worried about the feasibility of these subobjectives: in particular funding and competing interests.

 

15% also commented that they found the sub-objectives to be too vague. In particular, they questioned who would decide what “the right mix of homes” is and what “beautiful buildings” look like.

 

During the lunchtime conversation event, some people thought the words “quality” and “the right mix of housing” should be defined and agreed upon by all parties.

 

The need to ensure equality of treatment between Liverpool and the other parts of the City Region was also highlighted during the Lunchtime session.

 

  1. Responses to Objective 4 as a Whole

 

  • Fun day Quiz and Ambassador Quiz.

 

100% of people who participated in the Think. Listen. Create quiz answered “Yes” to the question to “Do you agree with [the sub-objectives], generally?”.

 

The PLACED Ambassadors quiz invited participants to rate their agreement on a Likert scale, and the general score was of 81%, averaging in the ‘Agree’ category.

 

Attendees of both quizzes commented on the importance of preserving the built heritage and to re-use or renovate buildings. They also spoke of the need for designs to be of high quality to ensure buildings are sustainable for decades.

 

  1. Thematic Discussions About Objective 4

 

  • Listen. Create: Children’s Workshop and Mosspits Primary School Workshop

Children were asked, “What is your favourite building and why?” They talked about public buildings of architectural interest such as libraries and theatres.

 

Elements in the children’s designs that were related to quality buildings and places included green spaces in residential areas, play areas and community centres.

 

  • Facebook Workshops

The Facebook Live workshop related to this strategic objective by inviting children to re-use a building to create a space for their community. It was held on the 5th February 2021 and viewed 146 times.

 

The kinds of buildings that children chose to re-use were very varied and included old warehouses and temples. Children were invited to think about the types of needs for diverse people, and to imagine uses that would meet these needs. Their ideas included housing, games, a place to play with animals, sport facilities and art galleries.

 

  • Listen. Create. Teenager workshop

Issues linked to the design of high streets identified by teenagers were a lack of safety, a feeling that buildings are neglected or abandoned, monotony and a visually unpleasant place.

 

The solutions they proposed showed a wish for quality open spaces where young people can socialise, and that provide shelter from the rain.

 

The streets they designed were inclusive of pedestrians,  colourful, and provided outdoor areas for cafés and markets to be able to spill out onto the streets.

 

“Green buildings” that use vegetation and renewable energy were also featured in the young people’s designs.

 

  • Rotating Debating

Participants agreed that place-making should be based on what communities say they need and felt that it was currently a top-down process. They expressed a wish for communities to be given ways to define themselves and to make their own places.

 

It was also pointed out that when new designs are proposed, information given to local people is often about visual quality, when there is also a need for information about the function of the designs, in order to ensure a better understanding of placemaking.

 

Joined-up thinking was seen as key, to design places that have quality aesthetics, but that are also functional and attractive for people to visit.

 

Maximising Social Value

  1. Statistical Response to Objective 5 and Related Sub-objectives

 

  • Survey

79 people completed the section on social value. Below are the average ratings of the sub-objectives from the online survey.

 

Social Value – Agreement Scores

 

Sub-objectives for Maximising Social Value Agreement
Create a framework that ensures developers are accountableand their commitments are delivered on, tangible andmaximized 94%
Setting clear requirements for new developments to havepositive social and environmental benefits, from design toconstruction, and that this impact will be measured, evidencedand  maximized e.g. job creation, training and investment inexisting communities 89%
Ensuring that social value generated by development has awider impact, benefitting the users, occupiers and existingsurrounding communities, particularly those that are mostdeprived and excluded 88%

Agreement levels were similar between the bottom two sub-objectives, with a difference of just onepercentage point between them. However, the difference between the second and the first sub-objective is of five percentage points, showing a much higher support for this particular action.

 

 

  • Academy

The sub-objectives received an agreement rate of 62% at the end of the project.

 

Social Value – Suggested Actions

 

  • Local authorities 8
  • Connectivity / Access 7
  • Involve communities 6
  • Local organisations 6
  • Education 5
  • Tackle inequalities 5
  • Accountability on actions / transparency 5
  • Housing 3
  • Environment 2
  • Health and environment 1
  • Safety 1

 

 

  1. Detailed Discussion About Objective 5 Sub-Objectives

The following graph represents the categories of actions suggested by survey respondents. The largest categories were then matched with the sub-objective that fitted best and explored in more detail.

 

  1. Sub-objective 1: Create a framework that ensures developers are accountable and their commitments are delivered on, tangible and maximised

 

  • Survey

16% of survey respondents spoke of the role of local authorities, both at a strategic level (8%) by prioritising and setting clear target areas related to social value, and at an operational level (8%) by making the planning assessment process stricter.

 

10% of participants expressed a wish to see more accountability and transparency from developers and private businesses.

 

The issue of accountability was raised by 36% of people who answered the optional question “Do you have any comments or concerns about the actions proposed?”.

 

  • Academy

Students thought local populations should be represented in the decision-making process. They also stated that the community should be involved from the start of the project, during the initial planning phase. Finally, they thought it was essential to keep decision-makers and developers accountable to ensure developments have long-term benefits for local communities and the environment.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Attendees discussed the idea that accountability starts with the procurement approach and the resourcing of staff to hold businesses accountable.

 

They suggested the use of a standardised approach and metrics to measure social value. Knowledge sharing between developers was also proposed, with the idea of having a common platform where developers could share and discuss good practice.

 

People also agreed that contractors should be linked with existing organisations that are local to the development area and who can inform them on existing needs and guide the social value work.

 

  1. Sub-objective 2: Setting clear requirements for new developments to have positive social and environmental benefits, from design to construction, and that this impact will be measured, evidenced and maximised

 

  • Survey

The theme of inclusivity and connecting people was discussed by 14% of survey respondents. The comments grouped under this theme included the idea that developments should help to foster stronger connections between diverse social groups, that everyone should have access to public buildings such as clubs and cultural hubs, and that the region should be inclusive and user-friendly to all.

 

12% of participants suggested that social value requirements should include supporting local

organisations by making funding available, supporting the creation of social businesses, and creating community spaces and facilities.

 

  • Academy

Students suggested developing processes to enforce the inclusion of community requirements in developments.

 

They also discussed the importance of ensuring the safety of homes and areas surrounding them as a requirement for new developments.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Participants felt there was a need for requirements to be clear, with social value measuring tools being chosen carefully. This would ensure a standardised approach to manage the expectations of all parties.

 

In was also noted that LCR has the power to facilitate relationships between local people and developers and should understand, be responsible for and advocate for meeting community needs.

 

  1. Sub-objective 3: Ensuring that social value generated by development has a wider impact, benefitting the users, occupiers and existing surrounding communities, particularly those that are most deprived and excluded

 

  • Survey

12% of survey respondents thought meaningful collaboration with local communities was essential in order for developers to identify the needs of local people and what “social value” means to that particular area.

 

10% mentioned education and skills training, stating such facilities should be improved to ensure equal education is delivered across the region, developing and feeding into the local workforce.

 

Tackling inequalities was suggested by 10% of people. Their comments mentioned inequalities related to housing affordability, geographical areas and poverty and its consequences such as physical and mental health.

 

  • Academy

Students spoke of the need for more equality when it comes to access to quality amenities.

 

  • Lunchtime Sessions

Attendees discussed that there are various ways to measure social value and highlight its non-monetary benefits. The need for a standardised approach was reiterated, with the idea that common over-arching themes and knowledge of good practice would help deliver greater social value.

 

People also thought that different timescales should be taken into account when planning for social value, so that long-term effects are also factored in.

 

The need for public engagement was also noted, with people stating that it was essential to understand the needs specific to the area where the development is located.

 

  1. Responses to Objective 5 as a Whole

 

  • Fun day Quiz and Ambassador Quiz

100% of people who participated in the Think. Listen. Create quiz answered “Yes” to the question to “Do you agree with [the sub-objectives], generally?”. PLACED Ambassadors were invited to rate their agreement on a 5-point scale, and the average score was 78%.

 

It was considered important to ensure that places, activities and work opportunities are accessible to all, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds or with disabilities.

 

The idea of more enforcement and accountability from the start of development projects was received positively.

 

  1. Thematic Discussions About Objective 5

 

  • Listen. Create: Children’s Workshop and Mosspits Primary School Workshop

Children found social value a little bit more difficult to grasp than other themes, yet many potential social benefits came through their design ideas. Many suggestions in this category were communal spaces, or space that helped people or animals in some way.

 

  • Listen. Create. Teenager workshop

Social value was not specifically discussed or featured in the young people’s designs, but social benefits were present. For example, in the wish to see places for all generations to socialise, and an offer of services and activities that suits the needs of local people.

 

 

  • Rotating Debating

The need for better reporting and more transparency and accountability from developers was discussed, with an emphasis on ensuring that the people impacted by the development have the power to hold developers accountable.

 

People also agreed on the importance of procurement: how developers are chosen should be, at least in part, based on what are they going to give back to the local community and whether the profits and the wider benefits are kept in the City Region.

 

Conclusion

Despite challenges that Covid-19 presented in terms of reaching out to the public, PLACED were able to adapt, enabling approximately 450 people to share their views, with significant discussion across and about all of the objectives.

 

Conversations ranged from light touch, high level discussion to enlightening, complex and highly informed discussions.

 

Throughout, engagement was very positively received and enabled a large diversity of voices to be heard. The wide range of activities, from primary school workshops to a lunchtime conversation, allowed for meaningful feedback to be collected from people of all ages and backgrounds. It also demonstrated the hope and support of local people to make the City Region a sustainable, inclusive, healthy and equitable area that attracts visitors, investment and new residents for its quality of life.

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