IHRR’s ROBUST (Regeneration of Brownfield Land Using Sustainable Technologies) project organised a special discussion event in Newcastle, UK in collaboration with The Great Debate.
The event used Crowd Wise, a participative method for decision-making, consensus and dialogue. It started with each participant voting for how they think brownfield should be used, including an option recommending that brownfield should be preserved for historical or aesthetic purposes.
After voting participants were split into groups for discussion with some people focusing on regenerating brownfield for playgrounds, industry, housing etc. This was followed by further discussion between groups with everyone having the option to combine with or move to another group.
At the end there was a final vote between two new options after groups with similar ideas merged with each other.
Some of the ideas that people shared during the discussion were eye-opening in that they revealed how different groups of people with separate objectives could combine their ideas together in creative ways. While it may be difficult to extrapolate from a single event on how to regenerate brownfield, as a focus group it revealed how greening brownfield spaces could evolve from theory to practice and transformation of the world around them.
Many thanks to film-maker Jackie Scollen and Great Debate volunteers for producing the video above.