If you follow Cities-4-People, you may know that we have entered the prototyping phase, during which the pilot areas work on a prototype for each of the three selected concepts, for a total of fifteen prototypes. The prototypes will bridge the concepts to the actual piloting phase, when things will get (even more) real and we will test and measure how the interventions affect the place and mobility in and around it.
What has happened in Üsküdar in this regard?
Istanbul is a hilly city and walking uphill (loaded with grocery shopping or other bags) may not be the most inviting experience. But what if you could stop and rest on the way up? The idea is having 6 benches installed along 3 streets of the Üsküdar district. To select the 3 streets, multiple meetings were held with representatives from the transportation department of the municipality. It may seem an easy choice, but just think of problems related to size: is the street too narrow and a bench is installed, then you create a potential mobility bottleneck. During the prototyping sessions, participant contributed to defining the exact location of the benches, the desirable shape and the timing. Shape is an open issue because new designs may not coincide with what already exists and can be deployed in compliance with the municipality’s plans and needs. Location is also a delicate issue which closely relates to perceived and actual safety.
I own my garden
On occasion of previous meetings and events, citizens expressed a feeling of insecurity concerning green areas, especially in the outskirts of the district, especially due to drug dealing and vandalism. However, the situation could change if more people started using the gardens and gained ownership on them. Building up the outcomes from the prototyping session, in our pilot, we will promote more social activities in one of the gardens, focusing especially on children and families. In the next weeks, the team will also assess how the pilot could be best used to enhance mobility actions around those areas.
Discover a new world
How much do you know about having to deal with mobility impairments? If you have no clue or if you think you know it all, but do not have mobility impairments yourself, this is the pilot for you. Ideally, Cities-4-People would organise a 3-day long event during which people without impairments would be blindfolded and would have to complete a parkour avoiding the obstacles visually impaired people have to face regularly. Participants in the prototyping workshop contributed to defining what the route could be, what the obstacles should be, what the location would be, for how long the event should last and who could take part in the competition or simply try to complete the route. Clearly, safety for participants will be a primary concern for the project team.