Group 1 – Frameworks for Environmental Justice

Ryan Cooksey – Edit – Using text / images from the group submission.

Our task:

To design a toolkit Professional Practitioners who are involved with implementing ideas into the Ward End Community by focusing on factors to address Environmental Injustices. For the initial few weeks we had guest speakers to help all the students involved to understand exactly what is meant by the term Environmental Justice. 

Ward End Location:

Understanding what environmental justice means in ward end. 

After discussing the potential for Environmental Justice in Ward End with Norton Hall Children & Family Centre’s CEO Suzanne Knipe; it was apparent that there were injustices present in the area. Ward End is a diverse but low-income area, Norton Hall acts as a liaison for community support offering them skills, they need to put themselves on the map, such as English, maths and due to recent events with Covid-19 they are working to support the community in digital skills and having basic access to Wi-Fi. 

The main issue in relation to all this, is the economic flow of the area is largely a net negative, out of Wards End, with landlords privatising so much space, and then pouring no money into the living conditions and community. Due to the lack of education of many residents they cannot find jobs even within the community and are forced to Universal Credit. The residents can sense that Ward End Park has degraded in function and appearance over time, through a lack of funding, leading the area to feel neglected. This net negative could potentially be even more effected by the HS2, simply outsourcing even more economic opportunities. 


How can social media be introduced as a method of keeping the community safe? what does this mean for practitioners?

– Firstly, social media can be used to ask the community members what they feel they require from practitioners to feel safe within this environment. This could take place in the form of a series of questions forming primary datasheets.

– This could be qualitative data, as there could be an option for people to upload video clips highlighting the areas they feel unsafe. Then talk about how that should be changed. This public interaction will satisfy many people as the community feels involved.

– Short video clips would target the younger audience.

– Practitioners need to build a large enough following from those who live in the community to be a success, so hosting community events to gain engagement would be required.

-Information to be adapted to suit all forms of social media , I.e Photos should fit a instagram photo box but also should be able to be converted to a video for YouTube?

Platforms: All social media platform will be required to maximise the audience.

This was a discussion that highlighted the diversity that we as practitioners needs to reach out to. The range of demographic within this ward is very broad, so it is important that all members of the community have an opportunity to view and access the information available. 

How do we represent our research?

A website? – Personally I feel this is the most appropriate one we can do, it is achievable + we could all edit the work and upload new content.

Indesign Document – Sent to all members to keep the consistency of the work the same

Youtube Channel – Possibly a series of videos all stitched together to celebrate our work, We could all talk for a min or so about a particular topic we are confident in.

An app? – If we don’t not have anyone who understands how to create an app we could set up an interactive powerpoint document using links, to show something similar. This could provide a walkthrough.

A cleaner Miro board dedicated to the work that we have produced as a group? – I’m Not too keen on this as it restricts access.

Walk through time-lapse of Ward End:

Ward End Park stands as a highlight within an otherwise urban environment and acts as a focal point for families, friends, and individuals to gather. However, the lack of lights, bins, and public toilets within the large space raises concern. Though the park closes at dusk, that doesn’t mean people won’t linger. And, while it seems a quiet, safe space during the day, introducing lights for usage in darker hours could help ease a community that’s already worried about safety in the wider area. 

Safe Spaces:

At this point in the project as a group we began to narrow down our thoughts on how to implement environmental justice in a small but powerful way within ward end. We decided to focus our thoughts on Safe Space / Community Safety. Attached below is our brainstorming exercise. 

Week 23.03.2021

We have spent the initial session discussing the work that has been completed, work in progress, and work to be completed. 

The discussion regarding focusing on a particular aspect of the work was the main focus of the meeting. Street lighting was the central aspect we spoke about. However, a member’s research argued that there was no crime pattern when lighting is or is not present. Environmental benefits highlighted was solar-powered lighting, so the presence of light did not have an ecological impact. With the hope of social change… 

Feedback explained notes: 

–           The starting point of the environmental justice wheel is good as it related to the initial graphic. 

–           We have identified street lighting as a focus. Social, economic deprivation, drugs etc., street lighting is a small area that needs to be addressed. 

–           Perception of safety. Even if it has not the root course. 

–           What was the thinking around the word burden? Why not use another word such as issue? 

–           Public safety is incredibly topical, but we had already picked up on this point before the national news. Such as budgeting. 

–           Talk to the Principal planning officer guest about the current situation. 

–           Need to reference the data found within the document to ensure other academics can reach this. 

–           How far has this been challenged? If Cambridge has used it for their work, then it is assumed it has been interrogated carefully. This needs to be disputed and researched in greater detail. 

–           Think about how the local authorities approach things on a strategic level, what are the current contracts on who provides the lighting in an area. Who Provides this inward service end? Some leverage on what they can demand and the procurement of these contracts. They are retrofitting existing systems. Additional lighting to be brought in under a community level of budgeting. 

–           Connection between lighting and reducing crime seems week, the perception. 

Constraints – Wildlife, powering them, the opposite effect, CCTV severance, no natural surveillance. Develop the land with housing. 

Time of day when things happened. 

            Community pavilion – To become effective, we need a way to get community feedback on the proposals. Can relate to the ladder of participation to make people involved rather than telling them this is what they want. 

–           Comparisons to another ward, 6x more crime per person inward end compared to Bournville. From a visual perspective, it is lighting that is lacking, which could be the cause of this. 

–           Visually, how does this work as a beacon to express something about the community for its cultural identity, Such as a 

–           Making things transparent for the practitioner and the community. 

‘Considering what the barriers are for practitioners being able to engage with communities in a meaningful way, both currently during COVID and more broadly, what barriers do the community face in effectively communicating their specific needs to design professionals and the local authority etc.’.:

•          Issues with not being able to carry out primary research due to the Covid restrictions in place. This means that there is a lot of reliance on existing data that may be out of date, leading to a miss interpretation of the current needs of the people of ward end. Making the practitioners suggestions to the public pointless, as the community will feel they are forced upon ideas rather than contributing to them, interferes with the acceptance. 

•          If research is carried out doing Covid times, which might not be the most relatable information due to different activates taking priority during Covid. A long-term strategic plan should be carried out to understand how the locals’ needs have changed during the pandemic. 

•          Once data has been collected, it might be not easy to distribute due to access to services. Not all of the relevant people have access to this data to interpret it. Due to leave and another halting of works. From a public point of view, access to this data is removed as many rely on community centres for digital support.  

Community Safety and Life Cycle Diagram in Ward End

This research has been done by Cambridgeshire City Council on Lighting and controlling crime hot-spots in communities like Ward End.

The research evidence about the use of street-lights and community safety the following
conclusions can be drawn:
*Recently published research1 has found:
*No evidence of a relationship between the count of crime and street-light switch off
or part-night lighting.
*The limited benefit of street-lights in reducing crime.
*Previous research that has been completed on street lighting has been contradictory
and subject to academic dispute.
*They conclusion that the general benefit of street lighting in reducing crime is unproven
but in very specific circumstances, where there is an existing crime hot-spot
and current lighting is poor then improvements may prove beneficial.

Community Safety Partnerships

The Business Intelligence service within Cambridgeshire County Council support
each of the five district Community Safety Partnerships (CSP) in Cambridgeshire with
their research, monitoring and information needs.
The service produce a variety of reports for each CSP, depending on need but generally
we get involved in

*Analysing patterns in crime
*Alcohol and drug misuse
*Anti-social behaviour
*Evaluations of community safety projects

Life Cycle Diagram in Ward End

(Community Safety & Lighting)

Environmental benefits

Solar outdoor lighting can play a critical role Such as:

  • Create sustainable communities.
  • Involves economic
  • It has social, and environmental impacts
  • Creates social change
  • Good for people and the planet.
    According to “The National Recreation and Park Association” finding ways to encourage
    people & authorities to create a safer park environment, it suggests that lighting
    as a factor to “enhance perceptions of safety in the realm in-justice environment.

Environmental benefits

It is estimated that each year well over half the UK
population – some 33 million people – make more than 2.5
billion visits to urban green spaces alone.1 Not surprisingly,
people become attached to these parks, gardens and
other open places, and appreciate them for what they offer
culturally, socially and personally. In research carried out for
CABE, 85 per cent of people surveyed felt that the quality
of public space and the built environment has a direct impact
on their lives and on the way they feel.2 But having access
to public space is not all that matters – just as important
are the planning, design and management of that space.

The positive impact on property
prices Many cities are also
now seeing that
Many cities are also
now seeing that the redevelopment of
high-quality public spaces aids
the regeneration of an area,
with commercial property prices
increasing in those locations.
There is evidence too that a well-planned,
well-managed public
space has a positive impact on
the price of nearby domestic

Long Term – Short term goals:

Collab Poster

Ryan Cooksey review of works:

The process:

From this collaborative process, I now understand how to implement Environmental Justice. I now know it is the notion of protecting the natural environment through a human rights lens, directly linking the environment’s importance to community living conditions by protecting the people and the planet first. 

Participation ladder

Throughout this task, we focused on a practitioner’s guide, highlighting the importance of the participation ladder. If nothing else, this will alter how I look at designing/implementing concepts in the future. With the opportunity to work with multiple disciplines working at various levels of their career, I know that clarifying the importance of making clear definitions for words I assume is universally acknowledged. This leads me to say It does not matter what data and audits are collected if the policy is not met with praise from the local community; otherwise, these policies will fail before they start. Unfortunately, we did not speak to residents; however, the research was well-received from professionals with ward end involvement. However, it would have been advantageous to visit the site and meet practitioners.

Concise, precise data: 

A guide must allow a practitioner to understand the information. Because the working practitioner is so broad, I realise now the importance of picking the right points concisely from complex data. As a group, we focused on how practitioners’ breakdown of the site’s safety to improve ward end in the short term, very achievable goals heavily focused on community input, to more ambitious long-term goals.


Before this module, I would not have considered its effects and other subtly achieving surveillance methods naturally. Not having the opportunity to work with a landscape architect before, I would not consider the topography, such as housing overlooking the parks is the best solution and not through a camera lens. Long-term ambitions provide facilities to reshape the community and eradicate its root cause. I will now be more reluctant to go for the obvious of cameras and lighting, and it opened my eyes to the ecological /unnatural effects.

Group work in an academic setting

Group work in an academic setting is challenging. I put this element of ownership and proudness absent, which I feel is due to online communications.  Overall, we reached a successful outcome.

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