The Studio has been working on new ways to engage with customers. As a starting point for public engagement we have taken to the streets on a number of occasions to explore what people like and dislike and to ask what could be improved in their neighbourhoods or city. These ‘on street conversations’ are quick and informal and give a voice to people who may not normally engage in more formal consultation processes. Questions are open ended to encourage conversation and we stand back and listen, taking notes in the words of the respondents.
We have used this methodology on a number of projects, including the public consultation for Dublin City Council’s Public Realm Strategy (see report here) and as a prelude to the statutory consultation on the Docklands Strategic Development Zone (see report here). It’s a great starting point for consultation – from the themes gathered from this process we have been able to use the information either directly in a strategy or plan or go on to design more focussed workshops on the themes. We are putting together a guide to the process which will shortly be available on our website.