Led by Confluence partners iDeA Architects, the Big Map workshops took place over an eight-week period between August 16th and October 7th 2015. The workshop series built on an earlier pilot of the Big Map, which took place during the launch of the Lab during Whitsun.
The Big Map gave people in Haverfordwest the opportunity to engage in an experimental mapping of the town’s riverside to share their ideas, hopes and aspirations for the town.
Ordinary people who live, work, learn, visit and play in Haverfordwest were invited to step into the space traditionally reserved for planners and urbanists and to engage in a playful and imaginative way with the planning process.
Five of the seven workshops worked with targeted groups, whilst two were open to the town community as ‘drop in’ workshops, including the ‘Back to the Future’ session hosted by Confluence partners Transition Haverfordwest. In total 133 people participated.
The workshops focussed on Haverfordwest’s riverside and surrounding areas of the town centre, walking and recording observations along a planned route. Participants were then encouraged to “map out” their reflections and ideas on tracing overlays of the map.
The results were surprising and out of the ‘stream of consciousness’ induced by the mapping process came some key ideas that we identified for re-imagining and regenerating the town centre. This included a ‘PEOPLE’S PLAN’ that would demonstrate the collective vision.
The process and findings that came out of the workshops were described in the Big Map Report submitted to Nathaniel Lichfield and partners; the town planning consultants preparing a masterplan for the town for Pembrokeshire County council. Download the report here the-big-map-report.pdf
Changing perceptions of Haverfordwest
–‘Above all, unless you stop the engineering-led highways centred approach to town planning, Haverdfordwest is doomed to fail.’
– More parks/open green spaces where people can sit and dream, especially by the river
– Haverfordwest has a way of both drawing and repelling at the moment. There is family history here. Would love to see more areas that encourage wildlife.’
– Community heart needed, multi- functional , like Bloomfield= the Old Prison?
-‘Love the idea of an Art Hostel in the building at the foot of the steps leading to the Castle, with and Art Club Bar next door’
Feedback on the programme
-‘Really enjoyed opportunity to discuss issues in town centre.. the exchange of views was enlightening. Using the Big Map brought it all to life – much better than a meeting.’
–‘ Presentations very informative and also visionary and quite challenging
–‘Really enjoyed visit to the workshop- really interesting lots of information to digest…we will go away & think of new ways we can engage with Haverfordwest.