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Arun Inspires: Youth-led public realm

The importance of engaging local communities within placemaking is increasingly recognised: placemaking is featured in the new 2021 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and effective community engagement in public realm planning is understood to have major impacts on a sense of local ownership and quality of life. In Arun, we are cultivating projects that involve young people in public realm planning to support their sense of connection to the communities they are growing up in, increased pride of place and of course the development of the public realm that will be meaningfully used by young people, whose social life is often spent in this sphere.

Additionally, learning about public realm design employs a range of skills connecting creativity, engineering and maths. Artswork advocates for integrating creativity across the curriculum and supports a STEAM approach to the curriculum, which explores using the arts (A), within STEM subjects. You can read more about ways this can work in our STEAM Toolkit here.

Our flagship project exploring youth engagement and learning through public art is being run in partnership with Angmering School, Pallant House Gallery and local engineering firm SI Protech, with support from the Full STEaM Ahead programme from Coastal West Sussex LEP. This project is jointly funded by Artswork with Arun District Council through S106 contributions and supported by Angmering Parish Council.

Read our press release about the commissioning of sculpture artist Tim Ward to lead the project here.

Tim has been running workshops at Angmering School since November 2020, exploring the processes of developing new art for the public realm, including skills in local research, design, art practice and engineering considerations. Student designs were submitted over Easter 202 and assessed by the public and panel of judges.

A portfolio of the students designs can be viewed here.

To find out which design won, click here. Tim’s final design, inspired by the winning student group/s work, will be exhibited over the Summer and installed in Autumn 2021.

Further elements of the Youth Public Realm strand of activity include:

Activating Arun Youth Council as a more confident and effective platform for local youth voice engagement in public planning processes.

Supporting the work of parish councils and developers who wish to develop effective youth consultation on their plans.

Working with Arun District Council on researching and developing a Public Art Strategy that effectively incorpoates youth voice.

Learn more about Arun Inspires by visiting the programme page here.

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