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Co-creation Workshop on What’s a Good City

Mapping Values: Co-constructing understandings of the good city in pursuit of new models of urban governance, British Academy

Date Published: 05 April 2022

The co-creation workshop brought together six participants from the Latin American House staff members and customers, as well as Kilburn area residents and consisted of a two-hour workshop in which participants proceed through three main activities: 1) an icebreaker with a free lunch; 2) an individual activity – identifying places; 3) and a collective reflective session on the top five places selected by each participant. All these activities were designed and geared towards deepening understanding and reaching collective agreement on the key values about Kilburn area, based on personal stories and lived experiences of living, working and inhabiting the neighbourhood. This workshop was designed in tandem with a previous walking workshop help at the Latin American House community centre.

We all got lunch and gathered around a large table and introduced ourselves. Some participants came along because they wanted to expand their networking contacts in the area, where she works helping new entrepreneurs to set up their businesses, another participant came because she used to live in the neighbourhood and during the pandemic she started to walk around the area and shifted her shopping dynamics. Then, we introduced the second activity, which consisted in an A3 map of Kilburn (with the Latin American House in the centre) depicting two boundary lines of walking distance of 15 minutes and 20 minutes respectively. After some time eating and filling their A3 maps, we all shared our main top five places and portrayed our insights using post-it notes. The Latin American House was a great welcoming place and this was highlighted by all the participants. One of them said:

I think it’s [Latin American House] more about the community, family, collaboration… I’m very happy to participate because my job involves helping people to get settled here.


Participants core values were associated to open green spaces such as the park and the cemetery:

I’m very new here in London. I moved in December 2019 and I start work here in November 2020. That park was the first park that I visited in Kilburn. I work as a volunteer on Saturday’s school here. So, we went with the kids there during the pandemic – I don’t know now, because I’m not visiting recently the park – but during that time the mornings were so quiet and nice at the park. And I love, there’s a sector in the park like a garden with different flowers.


… they are here a lot. So I like too much the place, and I like it in that time where everything was quiet.


Participants compered diverse parks in terms of size and scale, and agreed that a city needs diverse parks supporting different human interactions and activities:

That park is bigger. You can cycle in there. I don’t know if in this park you can do it because it’s a small one.


I like the hills in the Gladstone Park. It’s like a hill … It’s a different park but I love both. It’s for different situation. This is a more sitting park and the other one is more for running or cycling. Exactly. This is immersed in the city and the other one is more in the residential areas.

Interestingly, similar places were identified during this workshop and during the walking workshop, with especially attention given to the great value that local shops and grocery stores bring to the social tissue of the neighbourhood: street fruit traders, local churches, a park, and specific streets. Churches were also mentioned due to the aesthetic value of the architecture, providing nice views and a diversity in the architectural flavours of Kilburn. The analysis highlighted the importance and value of walking emerged as a key theme in the co-creation workshop. Participant reflections on specific streets and why they chose those streets gave insight into a variety of values that inform how people experience a place on foot. These included a street/place that is a reminder of home, i.e., sense of belonging.

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