Nabolagshager, in cooperation with a number of European partners, is part of the European project called «PlaceCity, placemaking for sustainable, thriving cities». The aim of the project is to advance placemaking as a new approach to creating better cities together. In Oslo, Nabolagshager has established a collaboration with Hersleb high school, one of the schools in Oslo with the highest drop-out rate and where most students are first- or second-generation immigrants. Our main objective is to empower at-risk youth and facilitate that students create inclusive meeting places and activities in their schoolyard for neighbors and fellow students after school hours and on weekends. How? Through placemaking and creative participatory methods, the students themselves have been identifying wishes and needs among students, teachers and neighbours, mapped limitations and challenges, and tested and implemented short-term actions that will contribute to create meeting places for the entire neighborhood.
Last year, Ingeborg Njøs Slinde, a landscape architect from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, supported by Nabolagshager, facilitated two co-creation workshops to help current students from Hersleb high school identify challenges and opportunities in their own school and inspire them to get involved in their community. During the first workshop, Ingeborg used a participatory method called “PICTOGRAMMING”, developed by herself, that allowed the young people to show how they use their schoolyard to further create a discussion about their needs and wishes, develop ideas and suggest short- and long-term improvements for the school. If you would like to organize your own workshop in your own community, you can find the free manual here with everything you need to know!
Youth mapped their own behavior by placing icons, representing different activities on a map of their schoolyard, which led to a discussion about what they would like to change and what was important not to change in the schoolyard.
The main aim of the second workshop was to let current students come up with new and concrete ideas on how their schoolyard could be improved. During the first part of the workshop young people discussed their favorite places in Oslo and what makes a public space a good place to hang out with friends and/or family. After this discussion session, students were asked to design and draw their dream schoolyard using a map of the schoolyard with a transparent paper on top of it. Using this workshop as an opportunity to practice their creative skills, the young people provided some wonderful ideas and directions for making Hersleb high school the best it can be. Nabolagshager, together with Hersleb high school and students, will work on implementing some of these ideas for the schoolyard during 2020 and 2021.
The placemaking tool “Pictogramming” was developed by Ingeborg Njøs Slinde in collaboration with Nabolagshager and Placemaking Europe. It was written down by Ingeborg Njøs Slinde and Laura Martinez from Nabolagshager.
This tool is part of the Oslo placemaking toolbox you can find here.