The Green Lab Richmond Projects

“The Green Lab is now able to continue work on the Community Placemaking projects in Richmond. We feel pretty fortunate to have the green light, and are ready to learn from some of the lockdown experiences in your neighbourhood.
From the consultation hui/meetings and survey earlier in the year we have determined the preference for the two small scale projects. Although they will run as separate design processes, it’s also possible that they will relate to each in some way.

1. Wayfinding Parklets: small areas with signage, seating or other features – The number, scale and locations for these are yet to be determined. We are hoping to source local knowledge on key locations, places of interest, through social media, email and conversations over the coming few weeks. We also hope to find a few more people for the steering committee through this process.

2. Entranceway to the River Trail; signage, parklet and gateway sculpture – Situated on OARC land at the Swanns Road and River Road gateway. With a defined site we are almost ready to begin the co-design process, although we need a few more people for the steering committee.

This is how you can stay involved:
– We will be inviting you to share locations and info about Richmond as inspiration for the Wayfinding Parklets . This will be emailed as well as on social media channels. Please can you like, comment, tag people in or share so we get a good reach!
– Join a committee! If you feel like you now have more interest or capacity to be involved in one or both of the steering committees then please get in touch. Having a group diverse in skills, experience and local knowledge is useful, so don’t be shy.
– Keep an eye out for progress updates and further opportunities to get involved.”

27 June 2020
“Hi Jane
Can you please add my email address to your mailing list for the Richmond Community Projects? I’ve lived in Richmond since 2016 & I created two years ago.
I’m a researcher/designer/small business owner, I created this website to record & share my research/ideas for Richmond:
Let me know if I can help, Joanna”

02 July 2020
“Hi Joanna,
You have some great resources and a clear passion for Richmond and surrounding suburbs. Thanks for getting in touch. Yes I’ll certainly include you in our coms. Would you be interested in joining the steering committee for one of the placemaking projects? Below is the previous email communication with the mailing list FYI. It would be really great to have your input for the Wayfinding project as it looks like you’ve done some of this research and thinking already. I’ve looked at your google map for red zone futures and think this could be a good resource for the ideation part of our process. Would you be open to us utilising the map?”

25 July 2020
“Hi Jane & Khye
Thanks for your time over the last few weeks developing the ‘Richmond Trail’. It will be great to see this created in Richmond. After listening to the other residents at the meetings & walkabout, I’ve collated some ideas in the attached .pdf.
Let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to help.”

The Green Lab Richmond Community Projects Ideas by Joanna Gould

27 July 2020
“This is wonderful, thank you Joanna – making our mahi easy.
I’ve included a link to your document in the design brief for Jordan to reference and included some of your points in the text. Appreciate the time you’ve put into this! Ngā mihi, Khye”

02 August 2020
“Hi Joanna,
Here are the concepts for both projects. Feedback was generally positive with a few changes indicated for the Swanns site (not to have the book exchange in this location) and for the wayfinding (to hold back on the stencilled image for now, perhaps looking at a small fixture/trail marker instead). I’m happy to chat about it tomorrow daytime if you like. Cheers, Jane”

Richmond Trail Concept
Swanns Road Entrance Concept

“Hi Jane
Just saw your email, thanks for sending through the design concepts, much appreciated. Take care, Joanna”

04 August 2020
“Hi Jane, I’ve had a look at the design concepts & have a few comments.
– Modern style/colours
To be honest I was a bit surprised to see these design concepts for our area, after coming to the meetings & discussing ideas for these projects. Richmond is known for our heritage & character houses/landscaping.

North Richmond, from 10 Shirley Road to North Avon Road, is covered by the Dudley Character Area restrictions to protect this area.

Recently the Guild Street development has divided the community, due to the modern buildings exterior & site/landscaping plan. The CCC approved the consent & deemed the issues minor, which angered many local residents who appreciate heritage/character vs residents who appreciate modern.

Installing the proposed modern wayfinding markers could create more division in North Richmond. So I would suggest leaving the 10 Shirley Road/Dudley Creek Trail off this project.

– Swanns Road Entrance Way
This location is the easiest way to access River Road for former residents wanting to come back to visit their old homes/river view & for anyone with limited physical ability due to the current state of River Road.

Currently there are no seats or picnic tables along River Road. Many people would like somewhere to just park their car, so they can sit & just be in this space, watching the river & listening to the birds.
When we did the walkabout, we saw only a few people along River Road, more people were using the other side of the river.

Not everyone wants to be a part of the community group projects or supports these groups taking over this space that is suppose to be for everyone to enjoy.

This entrance way project seems to be about promoting these groups, instead of creating a inclusive accessible space for the community to enjoy.

– Planter Picnic Table: design requires you to climb over the seat to sit down/get up, instead of sliding in from each side, limits people with different abilities being able to use this table.

– Planter Bike Stand: this site is raised up from the footpath, steps would be needed for people to access this site, but bikes would need a ramp to get up/down.

– Riverlution Signage: Riverlution sounds like revolution (political power/revolts against government), not a positive message.
Naming this area could be seen as a permanent take over of this land, by community groups that have only a temporary lease of this land, which could cause more division in this community.

This is why in my opinion, these projects (wayfinding & entrance way) should be associated with The Green Lab/CCC.

Not Avebury House/Richmond Community Garden/RR&BA/We are Richmond or [my] Rise Up Richmond, to promote the communities engagement & acceptance of these projects. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions. Take care, Joanna”

10 Aug 2020
“Hi Joanna,
Thanks for your feedback on the designs. I’ve had a chance now to check in with Jordan and Khye about where we sit with progressing the designs. Some of your points are a matter of clarification and were part of the discussions we had during the design hui #2. Others are worth some more explanation of how we got to this point. It’s been interesting to work through these points and it’s a good learning opportunity for our organisation too. So thank you for taking the time to communicate your thoughts. Happy to chat some time. Cheers, Jane.”

12 August 2020
“Hi Jane, Thanks for your reply, much appreciated.
After seeing the updated proposed designs, I realise it is time for me to step back & no longer be a part of the steering committee for the ‘Richmond Community Projects’.

For the last two years I have been researching Richmond & seeing the divisions in this community, I decided to compile my research/ideas on websites to share with the CCC/Community Boards/residents & as a way to connect with others interested in helping our communities.

I had hoped that The Green Lab, as an neutral/outside organisation could help coordinate/create projects that could be part of bringing our community together.

I do not agree with the proposed projects, as in my opinion the projects are essentially helping:
– the Richmond Community Garden to take over more Red Zone land, instead of creating an inclusive space for the whole community.
– to promote a brand ‘We are Richmond’?, instead of addressing the Dudley Character Area Design Guide. We need to be promoting Richmond (not a brand) & telling the stories of Richmond, so people feel connected to this place.

The same people that are also part of the Richmond Residents & Business Association (who are suppose to represent a combined voice for the residents of this area) should know that there are differing opinions on having to comply with the Dudley Character Area design guide & the rustic/modern style could cause more division amongst residents in this area, known for its character/heritage style.

I understand The Green Lab has a limited budget/time frame, but I had hoped the proposed projects would celebrate our Richmond identity, promote wellbeing for all our residents & provide learning opportunities in our community.

Thanks for your time Jane & Khye, it was good to learn more about The Green Lab & I’ll keep following you online. Take care, Joanna”