Urban Playground for All Ages

Possible Interventions Within the Neighbourhood that would enrich resident's lives

The lockdown generated by the current pandemic has confined people to live inside their houses, within their neighbourhoods, for periods of time longer than anyone ever anticipated – live locally is the slogan. It makes sense - contain the spread, save lives. The problem is that these spaces within neighbourhoods, where everyone suddenly found themselves living, did not offer equality of opportunity to everyone. Depending on the area you lived in before, and what your income was, your new local life was influenced by those factors. Many of the neighbourhoods were not designed to allow a sudden influx of people living there full time, as they lacked various amenities within the public realm. People faced the confinement of their houses, where all of the daily activities that previously were spread across the city, now had to take place in one space. I have personally lived that life for the past 12 months, and it was a challenge. Both mentally and physically. The confinement within a few walls made life difficult. There was no space. The same activities took place in the same house, one day after another. Days, weeks, and sometimes months started blurring together. Walking around the neighbourhood I could see spaces. Spaces which, if used differently, could allow for activities that occur within the boundaries of the house to be moved outside. You could still live locally and have access to space.

Those 12 months have been spent in Dennistoun, Glasgow. This is where the project takes place, and it proposes a change in the fabric of public spaces within the neighbourhood. There is an opportunity to form and propose a framework that works and focuses on the people, allowing for a more local lifestyle to develop. It proposes a shift of focus from the car, which has been the central element when new buildings and infrastructure have been planned. Within the neighbourhood, a series of points of interest have been identified and distributed in four categories – streets, green squares, courtyards, and underdeveloped/derelict plots of land. These spaces have great potential in altering the neighbourhood for the benefit of its residents. Within Dennistoun, an area that covers all these types of spaces has been identified and used as a site. All four types of interventions have been analysed in the context of Glasgow’s weather, allowing for similar types of activities to take place both inside and outside. These interventions look at increasing the mental and health wellbeing of residents of all ages within a neighbourhood and combat the hunkering down effect.

With restrictions being gradually lifted for shorter, or longer period of times, we can see some of the effects the pandemic has had on the city. People are living more locally and reconsider the way they work. Across several industries, companies announced the continuation of remote working after the pandemic restrictions are lifted. This means that even a small increase from 0 to 2 of the working days spent at home will put a strain on neighbourhoods, who are not planned for a more local way for its residents to spend their time.