Visualising the Role of the Public Urban Park: Consumer Perspectives
Visualising the Role of the Public Urban Park: Consumer Perspectives (2011), Film, directed by McEachern, M & Cheetham, F , 2nd International Visual Methods Conference, Milton Keynes, UK.
Recent government restrictions on public spending have meant that some urban public parks are facing a serious decline in investment and in some cases disappearing altogether (Layton-Jones and Lee, 2008). This is despite significant evidence of a strong correlation between quality of life and accessibility to high quality, public parks, (Lee et al. 2009; Ward-Thompson, 2002). Given that shaping policy around the needs and wants of a community provides a powerful means to transform individual wellbeing and social welfare (Dolan et al., 2010), this study aims to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the nature and structure of consumption-related practices associated with urban park users. To help capture the diversity and complexity of human action in this socio-cultural context, we employ both visual ethnography in the form of still photography and film (Pink, 2007) as well as walking interviews with park users (Clark, 2009). The visual narratives produced as a result of these complimentary methods help us to make sense of contemporary social uses of the urban, public park. The paper concludes by reflecting on the challenging and evolving process of using these visual methods as well as examining how policymakers can provide an accessible, multi-functional, public space suitable for all.
2nd International Visual Methods Conference
Milton Keynes, UK