Local school kids turn their hands to excavation in Camberwell Library, accomodated by Southwark Council.

Placemaking & community engagement in 2013

MOLA team
11.12.2013

At MOLA we recognise that the archaeology and built heritage of a development can be used to build a sense of place and shape its identity.

Moreover, it can be a tool for positive publicity and stakeholder engagement, enabling developers to fulfil their CSR agendas and lessen the impact of disruptive development work. Throughout the year we have worked with our clients on placemaking and community engagement, from community digs, public events and displays to interpretive hoardings, presentations to neighbours and blogs. Here are our 2013 highlights...

Construction sites are understandably inaccessible to the public but this means that engaging neighbours and local communities in the work taking place is a challenge. Community digs and workshops involve neighbours, school kids and community groups in discovering the history of their local area. For example the volunteers getting involved at a crossrail site in Stepney, or the children experiencing excavation at Camberwell library.

Site hoardings act as a necessary barrier between construction work and the public at large. Adapting these blank canvases with graphics relating to the archaeology and heritage of a site instantly transforms these hoarding from a barrier into a medium for communicating with neighbours.

Discoveries made on development sites not only lead to new understanding of our past, the physical remains are evocative reminders of a location’s heritage. Displaying artefacts reinforces connections to the past and allows the public to enjoy them too.

The investment that developers in the UK make towards bettering our understanding of the past can easily bypass the public’s attention. Regular communication through social media, such as a blog, can impart the significance of these discoveries to the public.

For more information on  MOLA's placemaking and community engagement take a look at our Archaeology Placemaking Blueprint or get in touch business@mola.org.uk.

  • Community project
  • Placemaking

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