De Beauvoir Primary School kids create blueprint for child-friendly Hackney project
PUBLISHED: 12:09 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:09 16 May 2018
Creative kids are at the heart of a long-term town hall project to make Hackney a more child-friendly place to grow up.
Year 5 students from De Beauvoir Primary School have been working with a team of architects, researchers and photographers to stamp their mark on any future development in their near surroundings.
Backed by Hackney Council, the students were tasked with taking photographs of the De Beauvoir Estate and working out how the area can be improved.
According to the team at ZCD Architects, who have been working with the students for the past nine weeks, the overwhelming desire from the younger crowd is for more, and safer, places to play.
A survey with the students also showed just two kids in the year cycle to school, but more than a third would take up the option if they felt it was safe enough to do so.
Mayor of Hackney Phil Glanville, who was carrying out his first visit to a school since being re-elected to the role earlier this month, said: “Instead of making decisions for you as young people, we wanted to see what you thought about the area.
“All too often people sit in town hall offices and say ‘this is how people are going to live on the ground’, but they never go out there and ask people.
“When they do go out there and speak to people, they don’t ask young people about what they think and how they want to use those spaces.
“We believe if we are going to solve some of the big problems in Hackney, you have to start with grass roots and ask young people what words like ‘play’ and ‘safe’ mean to them.”
Mr Glanville also said with plans for more council homes on the De Beauvoir Estate, and the potential for new play facilities, the kids’ views will be taken on board.
Headteacher Rebecca Mackenzie added: “We feel especially lucky we were asked to be part of this project.
“Thank you to the Year 5 students for the incredible work you have done. Our students have provided their powerful voices to the project.”
Hackney architect Dinah Bornat, co-director at ZCD Architects, has been leading the project and says the team will take a couple of months to review the pilot, but believes it is the start of something “much bigger”.