Pupils create pop-up park to host community street party

18 July 2014

Friday 11th July 2014 saw the launch of exciting temporary street design in Hamp, Bridgwater. Sustrans has been working with Robert Blake Science College on the theme ‘Street Art’, with the aim to start thinking about streets as places for play and not just for cars.

Pupils hosted a road closure and turned the street into a temporary park. As part of their enrichment week, pupils from the school spent the week looking at re-thinking street space, getting active and organising a community street party.

It's a shame we can't do that around a few more roads, kids could all play together where there are no cars

- Local resident

During the week, the pupils got a taste of the street style acrobatics, visited Bristol’s vibrant street art scene and planned their ‘street makeover’. The finale of the week was the temporary re-design of the street outside the school, where a park was created.

Early Friday morning, rolls of turf arrived and the pupils got their hands muddy turning their road into a ‘pop up park’. The street was adorned with positive messages, polka dots and yellow bricks which the pupils stencilled on using their new skills. Banners were raised, there were hockey games, chalk writing and surplus bedding plant stock were offered to the community to take home. Pupils and local residents enjoyed pedalling a smoothie and having a piece of cake at the ‘park café’.

The school, the pupils and the community loved the temporary park and as the day came to a close it was agreed that playing in the street was something that we should see more of. It was an exciting, action-packed, outdoor community festival.

One resident said “It's a shame we can't do that around a few more roads, kids could all play together where there are no cars”.

Residents were able to see the ideas they’d had for Hamp, after consultation with local people, as part of our community-led street design work.

The colourful designs incorporated artworks and symbols from the surrounding environment, indicating the possible changes to road layout, all aimed at slowing the flow of car traffic and reclaiming road space for public use.

Georgie Burr, project officer for Sustrans, said: “The feedback from the street makeover was really positive with the majority in favour of the new road layouts and the rethink of how we could use these spaces.

“The park area, was really popular and overall, the day was a big success! People were able to see and use the street differently and there was a great sense of community.”

Take a look at all the tweets, pictures and community reaction from the event in our social media round up of the day: