My Future York: First Planning Meeting

Housing was an issue that surfaced repeatedly, from concern about York's street homelessness, to the need for more social housing and the affordability of private rented accommodation.
Housing was an issue that surfaced repeatedly on the Parliament Street stall, from concern about York’s street homelessness, to the need for more social housing and the affordability of private rented accommodation.

We had our first My Future York planning meeting on 30th April – we identified some emerging themes, clarified what the framework for the project and made some plans for the project’s next steps.

Emerging themes

A key aim of the project is to take really seriously any contribution made and so we began by looking over the postcards that people had left with us at the Parliament Street stall we ran on Good Friday.

We worked out there were some obvious clusters: Housing, Green Spaces, Family Activities, Democracy, valuing York’s heritage, Food, Transport.

These are areas we will develop history projects around and public events to open up new approaches and ideas.

Beyond consultation

A key aim of the My Future York project is to develop different way for publics and communities to be involved in local democracy and local planning. Too often consultation means a choice between two or three options and doesn’t allow the people of an area or city to be involved in shaping the overarching framework.

In the planning meeting one idea crystallized that My Future York was about involving as many people as possible in, in effect, setting the brief for York’s future planning.

This way of thinking about what we’re doing also fully recognizes professional expertise and role. Once a brief is set then there will be a need for the city’s planners, designers and architects to help realize the city’s needs and visions.

A day in your life?

Then we were working out the best way of starting to openly – and with the whole city! – set the brief. We talked a lot about how to start and thought that, rather than ask people more abstract questions about the city as a whole, it might be best to ask people to think about what they do and would like to do.

To experiment a bit we’re just going to pilot with our friends and families two invitations:

2016: Tell the story of a day in your life.

2026: Imagine your ideal day – a work day or a day off – in ten year’s time.

We’ll see if these day-in-a-life invitations work. Any ideas for alternatives – or if you have a day in the life you want to share contact My Future York.