How does community engagement benefit regeneration?
The involvement and participation of local people is vital when considering major change for a place and people’s homes. The benefits are obvious, as are the problems caused when keystakeholders are not part of the process. Effective community engagement gives a better understanding of a place through local knowledge. It enables change that works for existing and new residents. It’s about sharing and aligning on aspirations for the place and making firm commitments for its future. It is complex, like any major change. Who says that change is necessary and who decides the type of change? What and who will the change serve? How will trust be built? And how will all stakeholders have a voice? Partnership with local people and communities produces better, more durable and more acceptable results for everyone involved. Not just in the quality of the buildings and spaces, but in how they are used and enjoyed. It is through the quality of the conversations about regeneration, and the quality of the relationships that are built over time, that real regeneration and positive change become possible.
Over the past 20 years Lesley Johnson has won an excellent reputation with local authorities, housing associations and resident and stakeholder groups, advising on, establishing and delivering complex housing and regeneration schemes.
Lesley Johnson, Director