The qualitative interviews opened the opportunity for the residents to become co-creators of the area and to contribute with their own ideas to the future park and its design – and to point out new perspectiv that we as investigators had not though about before.
In a co-creation process of imaging a future area among residents we thought it was important not only to ask for specific ideas of a future park – but also to understand and highlight what values or needs that underpinned their wishes. Instead of only askingthe residents what and how a future park should look like, we also asked why they had this wish in order to capture the values and needs of the place.
We found this approach important in order to avoid creating false hope or to assume that all specific wishes would come true. When we focused on the values or needs of the future area, we did not necessarily discuss the color of a new bench, but we registered the need for a place to sit in the park, which could be implemented in many colors and formats. Instead of only having a whole list of unrealistic wishes (which can also be valuable), we also wanted to have a list of the basic values of the future area, which showed what the residents had in common across specific wishes and desires.
We did find some opposing values among the residents and users, why the evaluation did not only have one answer to the coming design process but rather some dilemmas, that should be balanced in the future design process.
Instead of only focusing on future desires and redesigning a future area, one could also focus on reframing the present, which was part of the overall project at Grønningen. Here the focus was not only on the future, but on the different cultural events in the present, which were reframing the present area and their perception of the area. From a holistic view of the urban development, where humans and their surroundings are not separated from each other, but mutually affect each other, mental urban transfor- mations are a prerequisite for the physical. This space for dialogue, due to the artistic events in the present, is by itself an important result of the project and is crucial for future changes and for the community itself. The disadvantage of only asking the residents about the needs of the place is that it is likely that the focus will be on the lack of the place and thereby underline that something is missing – instead of focusing on the qualities and resources of the place.
What we became aware of during the process was the fact that a lot of residents and users were happy to be in the green area of Grønningen and did not necessarily have a huge wish for change in the future. Therefore, we also focused on existing resources of the area, which should be maintained in a future design process of the area.
The green city space and place of being: Among the respondents, both locals and non-local users, an essential quality of Grønningen is the “green” space. It is not only seen as an object, such as an urban garden in the area for example, but also as a value for the community to interact in and with the green area. The evaluation furthermore underline that Grønningen must both be a place with community activities (especially for children) as well as it should remain to be a place where you can still relax and walk with the dog and overall enjoy the peacefulness of the area.
„It could be very great if the area was transformed as an expanded”
„It could be very great if the area was transformed as an expanded garden, which none of us have in the city. Then you could come down here and
sit instead of sitting up in the apartment”
– Teacher at the local school.
In this way the space is being appreciated as a “non-activity-space”, where participation of being is seen as valuable. However, this dualism of activity and peacefulness become united, when activities are temporary, so there is room for both peacefulness and activities rather than either or.
Local interests opposite a popular city spacer It is questioned whether Grønningen can remain a local place and a peaceful oasis for the locals, when cultural activities attract people from outer Copenhagen.
From a macro perspective can this interest frompeople, living outside of Copenhagen be beneficial to strengthen the positive image of the area, as many visitors had a good impression of the area. But on the other hand, can this focus maybe override the local interests and community if the locals are not included or have interest in the ongoing activities. The overall local area, Northwest, has the past years experienced an increasingly gentrification. How to create a future area, which is both inclusive, open and local.