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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.