Shirley Youth Audits

In 2021, Shirley youth were invited to participate in Youth Audits at 3 locations: Shirley Library, MacFarlane Park Basketball Court & 10 Shirley Road/Shirley Community Reserve.

Below are links to a summary post & original report for each:
Youth Audit Shirley Library [Burwood Ward]
Youth Audit MacFarlane Park [Basketball Court, Shirley]
Youth Audit 10 Shirley Road [Shirley Community Reserve, Richmond]

The audits were conducted by ReVision, organised by Shirley Village Project & funded by the Department of Internal Affairs.

“ReVision have tools to support young people to audit places and spaces that are or will be used by young people to ensure that it is youth friendly, and tools to help planners, managers, architects and designers use Youth Relevant Design to create youth-friendly places and spaces.”

“A plan for Shirley will document the local community’s vision and priorities.
It is particularly important now to guide how we might use the resources available to us through the Department of Internal Affairs’ Community Led Development Programme over the next five years.”

Youth Audit Tool
“Funded by Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) for an initial trial, Youth Audits for…Shirley Library, and MacFarlane Park are now complete [2021].”
“Feedback from Council staff and community partners have highlighted the value of input at an early stage of facility design/redesign, and that the Youth audit it is a valuable tool for obtaining youth perspectives on a project (something that has been historically difficult to obtain).”
Attachments: Canterbury Youth Audit Tool – Audit Check Card (Page 18), ReVision Report – Shirley Library (Page 20) & ReVision Report – MacFarlane Park (Page 38)

Youth Audit Shirley Library [Burwood Ward]
The Shirley Library performed below average, in the Youth Friendly Spaces Audit, scoring a total of 64.5% and producing a Net Promoter Score of -50.

Youth Audit MacFarlane Park [Basketball Court, Shirley]
The MacFarlane Park Basketball Court performed averagely in the Youth Friendly Spaces Audit, scoring a total of 59.5% and producing a Net Promoter Score of 0.

Youth Audit 10 Shirley Road [Shirley Community Reserve, Richmond]
10 Shirley Road performed averagely in the Youth Friendly Spaces Audit, scoring a total of 42% and received a poor Net Promoter Score of -37.5.

Many of the issues identified in the Youth Audits for Shirley Library & 10 Shirley Road, could be addressed by creating a new central ‘Community Hub’ at the Shirley Community Reserve, that would complement the existing community facilities in MacFarlane Park & surrounding suburbs.

More youth living in the suburbs surrounding Shirley Road: Shirley, Dallington, Richmond, Edgeware, St Albans & Mairehau, could benefit from the positive aspects of the 10 Shirley Road site highlighted in the Youth Audit above.

Youth Audit MacFarlane Park

For the full report, click on this link below:
ReVision Youth Friendly Spaces Audit Report | MacFarlane Park Basketball Court (2021)

1. Executive Summary (Page 3)
On August 3 and August 7, 2021, the MacFarlane Park Basketball Court was audited by young people on its youth-friendliness. Using the Youth Relevant Design Check Card and Youth Friendly Spaces Audit, young people audited the MacFarlane Park Basketball Court on its safety, appeal, accessibility, resourcing, and youth-friendliness.

The MacFarlane Park Basketball Court performed averagely in the Youth Friendly Spaces Audit, scoring a total of 59.5% and producing a Net Promoter Score of 0.

The youth auditors really like how the space sums up the community vibe of Shirley.
The basketball court is centrally connected to other places that local youth access and is surrounded by bus stops that cater for the central bus network.
They enjoy using the space to spend time with friends and play sports. It currently caters for their needs but does need some work to have better practicality.
The main area young people thought could be improved and gave feedback on is the current state of the basketball courts which need cosmetic and practical upgrading for youth to enjoy.
In addition, the general area around the court would benefit from more lighting, more seating around the area, an improved water fountain, and a bin nearby to accommodate the basic needs of an outdoor youth-friendly space that can be enjoyed by everyone.

4.2.1 What do you like about this space? (Page 9)
The most common theme that came through the scorecard regarding what people like about the space is that MacFarlane Park is easily accessible and a great place to hang with friends.
One reason for this is that the park is the closest thing nearby for youth, “It’s the only thing around here so it’s this or nothing” and the young people felt you’ve got to “make the most of what you’ve got.”
The youth auditors highlighted that they enjoy the basketball court as a way to pass time without the use of technology.

4.2.3 What would you change about this space that is easy to do? (Page 9 & 10)
A common change young people want to see is improving the ‘life’ of the basketball court.
The concrete needs leveling because of constant puddles appearing during wet weather which can cause slips and other accidents.
The hoops need replacing which includes the backboards, double rim hoops, and access to the netball hoops to increase the versatility of the space.
The need for a versatile court came from one young person who expressed “I used to come here to practice netball but now I don’t” because of the court only being set up for basketball.
Youth also identified a need for benches as there is an insufficient amount of seating, and the bench that is currently there is inaccessible due to the leaking water fountain creating a “bog” that never dries and attracts wasps during the summer months.
Lighting also came up as there is not enough when it becomes dark. The auditors agreed that it is unsafe at late hours and lighting would significantly improve this.
Signage needs to be added as well as it can be confusing for people to find the space. This could include signs by the gate to the courts or by the corner of the block.

4.2.4 What would you change about this space if you could change
(Page 10)
Better toilets, rubbish bins, and additions of other youth-friendly activities is a recommendation given out by the young people.
Young people want toilets that are closer to the basketball courts as there is no clear path to the nearest toilet block, especially when it rains.
They all mentioned that the toilets are not well lit, and they feel unsafe with one auditor stating, “I feel like I’m gonna die when I go in there”.
The bins are also something that everyone said needs to be changed. Recently, the bin placed near the playground was removed in favour of a smart bin that is placed by the toilet block.
Young people felt that this was the wrong call as it makes no sense for it to be far away from the social hotspot of the park.
Auditors also suggest adding a half-pipe for skateboarders. They felt that not only would it add another activity for youth to enjoy but would improve the overall vibe of the space to make it even more inviting for all youth of Christchurch and would give Shirley a treasure in the area.

4.3.1 Safety (Page 11)
Overall, the youth auditors feel safe when they access the MacFarlane Park basketball courts.
When asked if they feel welcome in the space, it was unanimous from the auditors that they do feel welcome.
However, when it gets dark the general consensus is that young people do not feel safe.
They have attributed this due to the lack of lighting in this space.
The auditors generally came by foot to the space and adequate lighting would drastically change their future sense of safety.

4.3.2 Appeal (Page 11 & 12)
A space is more appealing when young people are able to be engaged in the space.
During the focus group, youth auditors said that the space met their needs and is appealing.
One of the auditors mentioned that even though the space is simply a park, ifs they went without bringing anything they would still be able to enjoy their time.
The main use of the space is obviously the basketball court, so they are aware they need to bring a basketball or netball to use the courts.
The first improvement would be to resurface the basketball court. In its current state, young people have mentioned the impracticality that it brings.
The court could also be redesigned to add lines to be used for other ball sports to make the space more versatile and appealing to a wider range of youth.
Other recommendations that arose were to replace the basketball hoops with interchangeable hoops that can also be used for netball.
One auditor mentioned how in the past this was possible, but these hoops were removed and can no longer be changed.
Fixing the water fountain and installing benches will also help improve the appeal of the space as the water is currently leaving a puddle that never dries.

4.3.3 Accessibility (Page 12)
Young people commented that the space is easily accessible to the general public due to its central location in the neighbourhood and it acts as a hub for the community.
The location is close to other spaces that young people go to such as The Palms Mall, Shirley Library, shops, and their homes.
The space is surrounded with a number of bus stops that connect to the main lines like the Orbiter.
The main comment for improvement is that the space needs more clear signage to help non-locals find their way.
The recommendation of resurfacing the concrete arose again due to the concrete by the entrance of the space being prone to puddles that inhibits access.
They also raised the issue of a lack of safe spaces to leave their bikes and scooters.

4.3.4 Well-Resourced (Page 13)
The youth auditors said that the space lacks some basic resources such as bins, benches, and a proper path to the toilets.
The most direct path is going through the grass, and this is an issue during wet weather with mud building up that can cause slipping.
Even during daylight hours, the toilets are dark, and youth feel unsafe to use them.
They are in bad condition due to their uncleanliness and general atmosphere.
Youth feel that the space is close to shops where they can access food and they do not mind the walk to these shops.

4.3.5 Youth-Friendly (Page 13 & 14)
The youth auditors talked about how MacFarlane Park and the basketball courts have a real Shirley vibe, “we are a low income kinda area and so it’s not posh”.
Shirley is basic but has a very community-oriented and connected vibe.
Youth and other residents will always bump into people they know.
Changes that the youth auditors identified were to introduce a skate ramp, like a half-pipe where youth and other residents can use their skateboards and scooters to complement the basketball court and playground.
For artists, auditors suggested a mural wall similar to the giant spray cans at the Youth Space on the corner of Lichfield and Manchester Street where youth can showcase their talents and give them a canvas where they would be allowed to do so.

5. Recommendations (Page 14-16)
5.1 Revamp the Basketball Court
In its current state, the court is prone to puddles and is not being used to its full potential due to the fading lines and inability to swap between the basketball hoops and netball hoops.
5.2 Add Lighting to the Space
The space drastically needs lightning to improve its overall safety and accessibility to all hours of the day, not just for youth, but all users of the space.
5.3 Increase Signage
The space may be familiar to Shirley youth, but youth from other areas will struggle to find the space.
5.4 Improve the Amenities of the Space
Changes could look like: Adding more benches, Fixing the water fountain, Improving the bathroom (e.g., cleaning, lightning, dedicated pathway), Adding a bin closer to the space & Adding bike and scooter stands/
5.5 Introduce New Activities
Changes could look like: Adding a skate park, Adding a half-pipe & Adding an art wall and area for graffiti art.

Youth Audit Shirley Library

For the full report, click on this link below:
ReVision Youth Friendly Spaces Audit Report | Shirley Library (2021)

1. Executive Summary (Page 3)
This report is based on data gathered on the 7th of July 2021 and 10th July 2021 at Shirley Library. Using the Youth Relevant Design Check Card and Youth Friendly Spaces Audit, young people audited the Shirley Library on its safety, appeal, accessibility, resourcing, and youth-friendliness.

The Shirley Library performed below average, in the Youth Friendly Spaces Audit, scoring a total of 64.5% and producing a Net Promoter Score of -50.

The youth auditors really liked how the space was calm and somewhere they could come and relax in. The young people also liked how friendly the staff were.
The areas young people thought could be improved and gave feedback on was the vibrancy and appeal of the space, the youth corner itself, how they felt generally in the space, and the resourcing.

The youth space was a key area the young people identified as needing change. Specifically, they wanted to see this space moved to a different area of the library. They felt like the youth space was an afterthought lacking youth input. Some other suggestions were implementing comfier chairs and beanbags.
They wanted to see more artwork, colour, culture and vibrancy around the library.
Young people wanted to feel included in decision making on clubs and activities for them and suggested providing different avenues for them to continue to do this. With this, they also wished to see a greater circulation of young adult books and the Shirley Library to be better resourced with activities and clubs for them.

4.2.3 What would you change about this space that is easy to do? (Page 11)
Almost all of the youth auditors thought that the Shirley Library, which they feel is currently a blank canvas, would be more youth-friendly if there was more artwork on the walls and around the place.
One auditor even suggested artwork on the outside of the building, which you would be able to see as you approach the Shirley Library.
They felt that this would be an easy change to make and suggested engaging with local youth to collaborate with famous artists to create new pieces for the Library.
Another young person acknowledged that relaxing music could make the environment more ambient.
Some other simple changes suggested were, free water, more charging ports, an Xbox in the youth space and a little garden.

4.2.4 What would you change about this space if you could change anything? (Page 11)
A common theme was that young people would really love to see some more activities for youth.
Young people don’t want to have a space that is at the back corner of the library.
A young person suggested that they would change the layout to be more obvious where the youth space was and would make it larger.
Another auditor really wanted to have a space that was at the heart of the library and was slightly removed at the same time.
Young people were also perplexed as to why the PlayStation was right next to the children’s books and felt that the PlayStation along with the accompanying bean bags should be moved into the young adult area.
Another common recommendation that young people felt would make the place livelier would be to add more plants and greenery.
Not only would this create a ‘better vibe’ as one auditor said, but the young people felt that it would make the Shirley Library feel even more homely.

4.3.1 Safety (Page 12)
When asked whether the Shirley Library felt like a safe place, one young person said, “it can be a safe place if you need to get away from stuff and read a book.”
Young people generally felt safe arriving at the Shirley Library as many were familiar with the route to get there; it was only when they had to leave when it was dark that they felt unsafe.
One young person expressed that they felt safe as a whole because they had a car and a license and had done army training so didn’t really have a problem with safety.
However, everyone else who left either by public transport or foot/bike expressed feeling unsafe.
A couple of young people highlighted how dark the mall and library car park were and this increased how unsafe they felt leaving the Library.
On a positive note though, the young people highlighted that the librarians were always very friendly and that they felt comfortable to approach them if they ever felt unsafe and/or needed to express concern.

4.3.2 Appeal (Page 12)
During the focus groups, the young people expressed that they liked coming to the library as it was close to places that they were familiar with and usually went to such as the Palms Mall, school and home.
Another thing that the young people expressed was that it was a great place to come and experience some peace and downtime.
One young person said that they liked to come to the Shirley Library as they didn’t have many friends to hang out with on the weekend and it was close to their house.
Although some young people expressed positive things about the appeal of the Library, some auditors felt that the youth area was uninviting and made them feel closed off from others in the Library.

4.3.3 Accessibility (Page 13)
The young people expressed that getting to and from the library by public transport was relatively easy.
However, they felt that the Library could be better sign posted.
For those that biked, the consensus was that there weren’t enough bike stands (only one) and the bike stands that were present were not modern bike stands that ensure your bike is safer.
The young people felt that there could be more toilets available for users in the library and also some gender neutral options that weren’t the disabled toilets.
They would recommend providing more toilets and more inclusive options like at Tūranga Library.

4.3.4 Well-Resourced (Page 14)
Young people expressed that they felt that there was good information about other services, however, felt that information about the ‘youth clubs’ could be better advertised and more easily accessible.
The young people said that the staff were friendly, nice and that they are “not scary and won’t bite.”
Young people liked that there were computers available and that there was a PlayStation that anyone could use.
Some of the young people suggested that there could be more activities for young people, such as, colouring, crafts, sing star, board games, and more events.
A simple suggestion was to make a registration form, so if you wanted to create a club or join one you could register to be involved.
The suggestion of more chairs and comfy places to sit such as more bean bags etc. was also raised again within this discussion around resourcing.
This highlights a strong consensus that the Shirley Library should have more places for both young people and all library users to sit.
In terms of books, young people were in agreement that there needed to be more new books circulating in from other libraries and more books for them as young adults.

4.3.5 Youth-Friendly (Page 14 & 15)
Young people found that the Shirley Library did not feel youth friendly or youthful.
One young person said that “it feels like an adult space and the youth space feels like an afterthought.”
Whereas another young person explained that after school it sometimes felt youthful with all the students from schools however it didn’t on the weekend as there were far fewer young people.
When asked if the space reflected their culture many of the young people said that it doesn’t feel multicultural and that they would love to see more Te Ao Māori and Te Reo Māori around the space.

5. Recommendations (Page 16 & 17)
5.1 Rethink the location of the current youth space
The average net promoter score is low and suggested that young people would not recommend the space to others.
5.2 Increase resourcing (clubs, books, activities)
We would recommend that the library considers increasing the resources that they currently offer.
The rangatahi would like to see an increase in the circulation of young adult books.
The recommendation, therefore, is that the Shirley Library increase the number of Young Adults books available or provide clearer information on how to request books.
Rangatahi also wanted to see a more diverse range of clubs available and to be included in the running of these clubs.
It is also recommended that there are opportunities for young people to easily make new suggestions of clubs they would like to see offered or run themselves.
5.3 Make the space more vibrant
Young people want to feel connected and valued in the Shirley Library.
They currently feel that the library is lacking colour and vibrancy.
Plants and greenery would also brighten up the space and make it more homely and comfortable which is an easy implementation.
5.4 Include young people in processes and decisions
A key thing that was raised was young people felt like they didn’t know how to have their say on the youth space, activities and the library in general.
5.5 Increase safety
We recommend considering how to provide better lighting options in the carpark and surrounding areas of the library so that young people and users feel safe leaving and entering the library.
Another recommendation would be providing new bike stands and better signage on the carpark and road facing fronts of the Library.

Youth Audit 10 Shirley Road

For the full report, click on this link below:
ReVision Youth Friendly Spaces Audit Report | 10 Shirley Road (2021)

1. Executive Summary (Page 3)
On November 3 and November 28 2021, 10 Shirley Road was audited by young people on its youth-friendliness.
Using the Youth Relevant Design Check Card and Youth Friendly Spaces Audit, young people audited 10 Shirley Road on its safety, appeal, accessibility, resourcing, and youth-friendliness.
10 Shirley Road performed averagely in the Youth Friendly Spaces Audit, scoring a total of 42% and received a poor Net Promoter Score of -37.5.

The youth auditors really liked how the space is well connected within Shirley.
10 Shirley Road is right in the middle of other spaces local young people would access and is surrounded by bus stops connected to the central network.
The space has a variety of facilities for young people to use, such as the playground, skate ramp, basketball court, and a quiet space by the stream at the other end of the park.
They enjoy using the space as it is easily accessible and its activities give them something to do, while making them feel like they belong.

The areas young people thought could be improved on were the lack of basic amenities in the space and the underutilisation of the space.
The space would benefit from having a toilet, water fountain, and lighting as these facilities would make it more practical and safe for youth.
Down the track, young people would like to see a youth hub that can be used for shelter from the weather, relaxation, and event activations developed to unlock the potential the space has to offer.

4.3.1 What do you like about this space? (Page 9)
The most common aspect of the space the youth auditors liked was the vast space of the park and the different activities already available such as the playground, basketball courts and seating by the river.
The auditors were impressed by this variety as it appealed to youth of different interests. Those who want to be active and socialise with friends can use the basketball courts to play games or hang out at the playground and use the swings.
Young people that want some peace and relaxation can sit at the other end of the park by the river and absorb nature.

4.3.2 Do you think this space is designed to be used by young people? (Page 9)
All of the youth auditors felt that the space is designed to be used by young people.
The inclusion of the playground and the basketball courts was also noted as supporting this conclusion.
These activities attract youth to the space and give them something to do in their neighbourhood.
One youth auditor mentioned that Shirley Primary, located across the road, uses the space sometimes, which makes it easier for kids to feel welcome to use the space.
Overall, it is a nice and safe park, with one auditor even commenting that it was enjoyable for all people, young or old, to use.

4.3.3 What would you change about this space that is easy to do? (Page 9)
The youth auditors mentioned that the space could be improved by adding new bins to help with keeping the area clean and offering more seating and spaces to relax.
During the night, there is an insufficient amount of lighting in the area, so more working lights around the space are needed to improve the usability and safety of the space.
Another idea the auditors raised was to add an information board which includes youth-focused information and advertising.
It should also include contacts to youth services and providers, in both Shirley and neighbouring areas.
This will help young people feel comfortable with accessing support and could possibly introduce them to new groups and clubs.

4.3.4 What would you change about this space if you could change anything? (Page 10)
In the long run, young people would like to see a youth centre or a place where young people can sit down and relax in a sheltered space which protects them from the elements.

4.4.1 Safety (Page 10)
During the day, they mentioned that the space feels safe due to its location on the main road and open areas.
However, when dark, the auditors noted that they did not feel the same level of safety. One female youth auditor said that she did not feel safe in the space at night or when near the river.
All of the youth auditors agreed that installing working lights would improve the safety of the space.
Another auditor mentioned that they would feel safe if more people were around.
This could be achieved by adding more seating to attract more users and introducing more activities.
When asked if they felt ‘in the way’ when at the space, the auditors said that they did not and that they instead felt welcome by its other users; they felt that they were part of the community.
With other key landmarks in the area like shops, MacFarlane Park, and The Palms Shopping Mall, the young people felt very connected to the area and indicated they would keep using this space.

4.4.2 Appeal (Page 10 & 11)
During the focus group, the youth auditors agreed that the space is appealing to young people overall.
The auditors mentioned that they like going to the park because it is easy to access and has fun things to do.
One auditor mentioned that the river at the other end of the space gives a sense of nature and peace.
The location of the space makes it easily visible and it is located near other places young people frequent.
The auditors would like to see the visual appearance of the space improved and the quantity of activities run increased.
To achieve this, the auditors suggested that bins, lighting, and an information board could be introduced.
They also suggested that the space could be made more colourful and thus appealing by expanding the gardens and including more flowers.
Another idea raised by the auditors to improve the appeal of the space was to refurbish the basketball courts and playground.
This could be achieved by repainting the court, net, and playground.
In terms of new activities, the auditors noted that the table tennis table is not fit for purpose as it is usually too windy to use.
Instead, the auditors suggested that a big chess set could be developed, which would be something young people would welcome to the space.

4.4.3 Accessibility (Page 11)
Any space needs to be accessible, which includes disability access, physical movement to and around the space, and the affordability of engaging with the space.
Young people commented that the space is easily accessible.
Due to its location on a main road, the space is easy for not just Shirley residents to access, but everyone in the city.
A traffic light installed right outside the main entrance makes it easier for young people to cross the road, while the bus stops located directly outside the space connect it to the city’s public transport network that many young people rely on.
People can also drive to the space, as well as safely walk and bike, although the bike stands need to be updated.
The space is connected to other spaces that young people in the area would go to.
While the space is accessible from a transport perspective, many of the auditors pointed out that the space has poor disability access.
They noted that the footpath is the only wheelchair accessible part of the space and that ramps and wheelchair-friendly activities should be introduced to the space.

4.4.4 Well-Resourced (Page 11)
The youth auditors noted that while the space appeals to all age groups, it needs basic facilities like toilets, lighting, water fountains, and seating to be introduced to be well-resourced.
The auditors explained that more bins need to be installed as the current ones are often full, which causes rubbish to be left on the ground surrounding the bins.
One auditor suggested that a community group could be formed to do a clean up once a month, which would increase connection, ownership and pride of place in the local area.
With council already planning to build a new structure in the space, the youth auditors agreed that they would like this to be a building that would be a place to both run activities and relax.

4.4.5 Youth-Friendly (Page 12)
The youth auditors agreed that the space is youth friendly due to its simplicity and it having a “Shirley vibe”.
They noted that Shirley generally has a natural, relaxed and community atmosphere, which they would like to see preserved in the park if anything new is to be installed or introduced.
One auditor did mention that the space “screams out ‘toddler’ more than youth” and that the neighbouring MacFarlane Park “screams out youth more than here [10 Shirley Rd]”.
They explained that this is because MacFarlane Park has the Park Centre, which offers free WiFi, a full size basketball court, a playground better suited to a wider age range, and more field space to use.

5. Recommendations (Pages 13-15)
5.1 Install Basic Amenities
The nearest public bathrooms and water fountains are located in MacFarlane Park, which is very inconvenient for people using this space.
5.2 Add Lighting to the Space
For the space to be fully functional, the space must also be safe.
The space needs lighting to improve its overall safety and to be accessible during the night. This will also increase the appeal of the space.
5.3 Improve Existing Features
The features of the space are well-used by local young people, but are in need of an upgrade.
The youth auditors would like to see existing features such as the playground and half court be given functional and cosmetic improvements.
Replacing old bike stands, Adding more seating, Expanding the garden, Installing a youth-focused bulletin board.
5.4 Introduce New Features
On top of improving the existing features of the space, young people would like to see further facilities and features developed at the space.
The wide open areas give the space plenty of potential, which, if properly utilised, would benefit all park users.
5.5 Build a Youth Hub in the Future
In a future council long term plan, the young people would ideally like to see a space for them to relax and hold activities.
This will lead to more young people using the space and make them feel more welcome in the community.
Have a dedicated seating area, Have shelter from the weather, Offer free WiFi, Include access to support services.