Planning Creativity: Participatory Heritage and Decision-Making

Lead Research Organisation: Keele University
Department Name: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Abstract

Planning Creativity will transform the potential impacts, audiences and legacy of the AHRC Changing Landscapes network grant, 'Decommissioning the Twentieth Century' (AH/T005971/1). An innovative digital platform will reveal the cultural capital of decommissioned sites to mathematical modelling, spectacular co-created art alongside high-quality print material will empower communities to engage with and challenge assumptions about the heritage value of large industrial complexes, and a legacy network of stakeholders in sites of decommissioning will build the capacity of communities to understand, participate in, and where relevant challenge planning processes.

Digital humanities - industrial heritage - decommissioning - 3D modelling - participatory research - co-creative - interdisciplinary - data-driven planning - empowerment.

We will build an online, interactive 3D model of Chatterley Whitfield Colliery as a proof-of-concept to engage communities, speak to the mathematical models now often used in landscape change decision-making, and offer a new tool for heritage organisations managing inaccessible or dangerous sites. As well as enabling a virtual tour of the physical site, the online model will enable us to digitise and map at a structure-level the data derived from the original project, relevant historical documents and records, and online submissions of memories, documents and images by wider public stakeholders in the site. This process will encourage community participation in planning by making such participation more accessible, but also results in a flexible and data-rich research tool which retains the complexity and diversity of arts- and humanities-derived material, yet enables, for example, the use of heatmapping or culturomics to derive data suitable for data-driven decision-making. We are aware that such processes have the potential to disempower communities or replace genuinely participatory planning by 'black-boxing' decisions within models that appear arcane. In order to reverse this possibility, the project first seeks to increase the capacity of community stakeholders in decommissioning to understand, participate in, and challenge decision making by building a legacy network of such communities, brought together, alongside decommissioning contractors, heritage representatives and planning experts at a large 'Creative Decommissioning' event in June 2021. Second, we will demonstrate how publicly-exhibited co-created art can encourage and deepen community participation in planning processes. Working with co-creative artists, we aim to project original artwork derived from the data of the original project onto the remaining structures of Chatterley-Whitfield Colliery, and produce a high-quality artistic pamphlet to bring the outputs of workshops at Fawley Power Station and West Burton B Power Station. The process and projections will be photographically documented and exhibited at the 'Creativity in Decommissioning' event, alongside the interactive 3D model.

Planned Impact

The key goal for this network project is to engender a long-lasting impact upon the process of decommissioning large industrial sites for all stakeholders. It will enable policy-makers and planners to use virtual 3D modelling and participatory engagement tools to analyse local community views and needs much earlier in the process than at present. Specifically, it will impact on the following groups:

Academic beneficiaries

1. Mathematical modellers, especially those within the broader UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) Landscape Decisions programme.
This project will use digital mapping software alongside digital heritage as a proof of concept to a) render data gained from the original project into a format that can be manipulated and utilised by mathematical and geographical modelling tools and b) increase the representativeness of such data by reaching new stakeholders.

2. Heritage Studies and Digital Humanities. The interactive 3D site model provides a proof-of-concept for local community engagement in inaccessible heritage sites.
Industrial historians of the 20th and 21st centuries. The digitisation of archival material, and collection/production of supplementary material will provide a valuable archive for historians interested in large industrial infrastructure and its decommissioning.

3. Co-creative art study. Co-creation is a relatively new area of artistic research to which this project contributes.

4. Environmental Studies. The project seeks to bring to light the interactions and connections of local people to the past, present and future of carbon culture infrastructure.

5. Digital geography. The project proposes new applications of well-developed expertise in 3D modelling within this field.

Non-academic beneficiaries

1. Planners responsible for landscape change decision-making for brownfield and decommissioned sites.
This project will promote co-creative and participatory democratic process as a means to more effectively manage decommissioning amongst stakeholders such as decommissioning contractors, local authority representatives, site developers, land owners, and offer a new digital tool through which planners can consider the cultural capital of such sites.

2. Local communities involved in planning decisions.
The proof-of-concept mode of data collection will offer a relatively inexpensive, flexible tool for collating the complex and varied engagements of diverse communities with large infrastructure as it becomes heritage, in a way that encourages the co-creative production of heritage and participatory decision-making.

3. Communities associated with sites at risk of decommissioning.
See 2. In addition, the project aims to establish a knowledge-sharing network of these communities in order to increase their capacity and ability to deal with the challenges posed by decommissioning and the decision-making processes that accompany it.

4. Heritage organisations, especially those responsible for inaccessible or dangerous sites.
The 3D model provides one way in which such organisations could engage public visitors in such sites, as well as reaching out to those who might not be able to physically visit others.

5. Historic England.
The project will provide a vision for how a series of HE's strategic recommendations might be fulfilled: to 'facilitate introductions between stakeholders in different places that face and have addressed similar issues', to use engagement with the historic environment to increase 'engagement with the planning system', 'engage local communities in place-making', and to to 'invest in digital technology to develop more innovative ways of engaging the public'. It will also raise the profile of one of the most significant sites on HE's heritage at risk register.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Fawley 
Description A film about the decommissioning and demolition of Fawley power station, and its impact on residents. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact The film has emerged as a core focal point around which to discuss the power station. We'll find out more at the first viewings at the end of March. 
 
Title West Burton Creative outputs from Dana Olarescu 
Description A series of map-inspired prints documenting some of the responses to West Burton Power Station during the project. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact None yet. 
 
Description The main finding so far has been in the legal and intellectual copyright issues surrounding crowd-sourced heritage, with particular reference to the regulations on GDPR which have not been necessary to consider on previous examples of the technique. These have held up the creation of the website, but now that they are overcome, we can share our best practice example with others working in the same field.
Exploitation Route The award is still ongoing, but we hope that the crowd-sourced heritage tool is both useful in its own right, and provides a model that can be readily adapted and utilised at other heritage sites hoping to create something similar.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://chatterleywhitfield.online
 
Description Aside from a general sense of impact on the development of a new vision for Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, the primary impact so far has been on our creative partners, Urban Wilderness CIC. We have been able to provide smaller supportive funding for this innovative and leading co-creative arts organisation through the crisis, by supporting the bid to the KISI Kapp fund for the Brownfields project (the product of which, the Urban Commons Charter document, has since been the inspiration for other successful funding bids from creative organisations in the area), and the Being Human Project. While Urban Wilderness also successfully gained other funding through the pandemic, our partnership has been an important part of their current position. Furthermore, the engagement of the organisation with the concept of 'commons' ownership, and with my research on trespass which has inspired much of my research, has altered and shaped their more recent place-based approaches. Over 2021, our research has been used in several other ways. First, officials of the Environment Agency have expressed an interest in carrying out similar research at Winfrith Nuclear research facility, and I have also bid for a new grant with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to fund work on Dounreay based on an expansion of the Decommissioning Projects.. Our findings regarding co-creative art in public engagement are also core to the QR policy support fund highlighted in the relevant Researchfish section.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Creative Economy,Energy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Involvement in the New Vision for Chatterley Whitfield
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description MA Creative Practice
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Chatterley Whitfield Lives Again! (later 'Memories of Mining').
Amount £2,000 (GBP)
Organisation Being Human Festival 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Start 11/2020 
End 11/2020
 
Description Keele Institute for Social Inclusion KAPP Awards
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Keele University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 05/2020
 
Description UKRI: QR Policy Support Funding
Amount £14,807 (GBP)
Organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation 
Department Research England
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2022 
End 07/2022
 
Title Cost-effective crowd sourced heritage tool, with potential to integrate photogrammetric 3D modelling. 
Description Cost-effective crowd sourced heritage tool, with potential to integrate photogrammetric 3D modelling. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We only launched the website last week, and the 3D model has not yet been integrated (it has been impossible to collect the data for during COVID19. 
URL http://chatterleywhitfield.online
 
Description Brownfields International Network 
Organisation Staffordshire University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have collaborated with Dr Carola Boehm and Dr Anna Francis, along with colleagues from universities in Brazil and Finland, on funding grant applications on the history, heritage and contemporary uses of abandoned urban ('brownfield') sites. So far, our funding bids as a result of this network have not been successful; the most significant one was to the Trans-Atlantic Platform Recovery, Renewal and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World.
Collaborator Contribution I have collaborated with Dr Carola Boehm and Dr Anna Francis, along with colleagues from universities in Brazil and Finland, on funding grant applications on the history, heritage and contemporary uses of abandoned urban ('brownfield') sites. So far, our funding bids as a result of this network have not been successful; the most significant one was to the Trans-Atlantic Platform Recovery, Renewal and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World.
Impact 1. Funding bid to Trans-Atlantic Platform Recovery, Renewal and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World (unsuccessful).
Start Year 2021
 
Description Chatterley Whitfield Friends 
Organisation Chatterley Whitfield Friends
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have worked extensively with Chatterley Whitfield Friends over the last 1.5 years. The outcomes have been a new Being Human Festival Project (with Urban Wilderness CIC), and involvement in a new regeneration bid for the site.
Collaborator Contribution The CWF have been instrumental in keeping the project running over the last year, and are now our most active community on the grant. In addition, they have leant, and allowed me to copy, their entire digital archive of documents for the research on the project.
Impact 'Mining Migrations' Being Human Festival Exhibition, November 2020. The original funding bid for Decommissioning the Twentieth Century and Planning Creativity. The website and online Crowd Sourced heritage tool www.chatterleywhitfield.online
Start Year 2020
 
Description Potential Heritage Project at Winfrith 
Organisation Environment Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The PI (Ben Anderson) along with Adam Gutch and Chu LI Shewring (see Flying Ant Productions partnership) attended an initial informal information sharing event on a potential collaboration at Winfrith Power Station.
Collaborator Contribution James Heavingham (EA) organised an informal information sharing event on a potential collaboration at Winfrith Power Station. James also attended project workshops for our two projects.
Impact None.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Urban Wilderness CIC 
Organisation Urban Wilderness CIC
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have provided valuable support to Urban Wilderness through the epidemic in the form of funding to support their existing work, and in allowing them to use previous projects as examples to gain other external funding (such as the Wastelands Project. Two key collaborations emerged during this period. 'Brownfield Land and Social Justice: The Urban Commons Charter', in which I acted as an academic facilitator on a project led by UW, and funded by the Keele Institute for Social Inclusion at Keele University. This has now become a core aspect of Urban Wilderness's methodology, as well as providing the intellectual basis for at least one other successful funding bid from Stoke's arts and cultural community. Together with the Chatterley Whitfield Friends, we also produced 'Mining Migrations', funded by the Being Human Festival, and bringing together research from both myself and Urban Wilderness. The exhibition, which existed in situ during November 2020, is now available digitally on Chatterley Whitfield Online (see below).
Collaborator Contribution We have been working closely with Urban Wilderness since the beginning of our bid, but they are now at the centre of our COVID-19-friendly plans. I first worked with Urban Wilderness on the Being Human Project 'Feral Futures' in 2018. We had planned to involve them as creative consultants on Decommissioning the Twentieth Century, and in order to produce spectacular public art at Chatterley Whitfield in 2020 on it's sister project Planning Creativity. Now, with these two projects being run as one, Urban Wilderness are using their expertise to help us to commission a piece of large public art at each of our three sites of decommissioning. In the mean time, in 2020, we also worked together on the side project emerging from Decommissioning the Twentieth Century, the Being Human Festival Project 'Mining Migrations'. They have been instrumental in developing many of these projects; particularly the notion and process of creating public artworks and research for the Mining migrations project.
Impact There are other websites associated with this collaboration: https://urbanwildernesscic.com/networkoflearning ; https://chatterleywhitfield.online/mining-migrations-being-human-festival-2020/ . The collaboration combined history with artistic practice.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Chatterley Whitfield Heritage Open Days 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact These visits involved me taking part in and listening to discussions related to Chatterley Whitfield. On occasion, this enabled me to develop my own research, but were more important in building trust with the c. 30-40 people who were there each week (they meet every Thursday morning). The attendees were generally active members of the Chatterley Whitfield Friends.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL http://www.chatterleywhitfieldfriends.org.uk
 
Description Chatterley Whitfield Online 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have just launched our website, chatterleywhitfield.online. Alongside information about the project, it is also a crowd-sourced heritage tool, providing a place for the collection of material on Chatterley Whitfield. We hope it provides a focus for research into the site and the collection of people's memories of it, but engagement is currently only a week old.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL http://chatterleywhitfield.online
 
Description Claybody Theatre Dirty Laundry Podcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As a result of connections made while developing Decommissioning the Twentieth century and Planning Creativity, I was invited to take part in the 'Airing the Issues' Podcast alongside other local figures, discussing the environmental history and heritage of the pottery industry in Stoke.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://claybodytheatre.com/dirty-laundry-podcast/
 
Description Fawley Film Project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Partnering with Adam Gutch and Chu Li Shewring, we have co-created a film based on the heritage of Fawley Power Station. Public engagement activities on this aspect of the project (there are an unreasonably large number to list separately, and many will have been informal and beyond the scope of the direct research), are currently limited to those related to actually producing the film - viewings will take place on the 26th March 2022, and will thus fall into the next Researchfish reporting period. Among the various activities that the filmmakers have undertaken have been around 10 site visits to locations including the power station itself, Southampton, the Isle of Wight, and specific installations such as beekeepers hives. In addition to this, a series of c. 10 interviews have been conducted by the filmmakers, some of which appear in the film, and numerous other individuals have provided imput into its contents, including participants from our other local partners, Friends of the New Forest.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description General Project Workshops, online. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Alongside our in-person engagement activities, we have held a series of six (so far) workshops. Initial workshops were related to planning, while the second group of three were related to each of the individual sites. We plan to hold a further three workshops either before or after a larger event on the 13th June 2022. Around 15 people have attended each workshop, and they have each led to other activities - increased interest in the local or national project, inspired new activities elsewhere (see Winfrith) or engagement with local artists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL http://chatterleywhitfield.online
 
Description Green Thinking: Energy. BBC Radio Three Podcast. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I took part in a BBC radio 3 'Green Thinking' podcast, in a panel alongside Prof. Frank Trentmann. Much of the discussion was directly about the two DTC projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0b2774q
 
Description Mining Migrations Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This featured a series of six banners (still available electronically on chatterleywhitfield.online) exploring different 'migrations' to and from Chatterley Whitfield. QR codes on the banners allowed visitors to listen to audio commentary on the banners, and they were also invited to leave their own comments on them (10 responses were gained).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://chatterleywhitfield.online/mining-migrations-being-human-festival-2020/
 
Description Project Relaunch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This short workshop introduced our newly-planned, covid-19 friendly projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Twitter account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We run a project specific twitter account (@ruralmodernism) which informs followers of our activities. It also reports on other projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021,2022
URL https://twitter.com/ruralmodernism
 
Description Urban Wilderness - Chatterley Whitfield Project. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Alongside commissioning and managing co-creative activities at West Burton and Fawley, Urban Wilderness carried out our most innovative forms of public engagement activities at Chatterley Whitfield. I have grouped them together in on heading here on researchfish for ease, but really, this constituted a series of co-ordinated engagement activities based on methods developed alongside professional French-style clown training. The method was accordingly to 'send up' figures of expertise at the site, as well as offering symbolic figures representative of local people's identity. The engagement activities were spread over several weeks and constituted: 1. appearing as the 'spirit' of coal and industrial labour in the Whitfield nature reserve adjoining the site, over the course of a week. Objective: establish appearance in the site for local people. 2. Appearing as workers in the reserve next to the site, undertaking apparently pointless manual labour (sorting rocks and coal), during a weekend. The objective here was to attract curious visitors to ask questions about activities, invite them to take part in the exercise, and establish a confidence of engagement to begin conversations about the meanings of the site. 3. Appear as heritage 'experts' (ie. historians, archaeologists), moving around the site, attempting, but comically failing to find any 'heritage' there, positioning visitors and locals as 'experts', able to tell incomers about the site and establish it as a narrative over which they have ownership. 4. Appearing as 'planning experts' attempting to carry out community engagement over an obviously fake plan to build a huge multistorey car park over the entire site. This workshop targeted local children and young people from the nearby Fegg Hays community. Exactly how many people were engaged is unclear because of the nature of the activities, but very poor weather for 1-3 meant that engagement was not as hoped - between 10 and 20 in total. Number 4 was indoors, and engaged 15 young people, with significant outcomes and finding for the project - particularly, the continuing importance of the site as an (illegal and dangerous) rite of passage for young people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://urbanwildernesscic.com/
 
Description West Burton Project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The West Burton part of the project was commissioned to co-creative artist Dana Olarescu, and was, to date, the most successful of the three projects. It included 7 workshops at a variety of venues, such as primary schools, local village halls, and urban community centres - in total, about 50 people attended these, most of which included elements of co-creative art. In addition, Olarescu hired market stalls, carried out interviews with local artists, formed partnerships in the local community (see report below)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL https://chatterleywhitfield.online/documents/8/Dana_Ol%C4%83rescu_Activity_report.pdf