In summer of this year, The PLACED Academy opened its doors to its fifth annual cohort of summer school attendees. Sponsored by a number of consultancies and organisations, including TEP, PLACED offers a free-to-access innovative programme for 14-18 year olds across the northwest of England, and provides an introduction into a career in the built environment. The programme is designed to encourage creativity, increase self-esteem and develop a broad range of interpersonal skills. The content of the course centres around the built and natural environment, and how design and management can positively respond to the effects of climate change.
PLACED runs from July to the following May and comprises both online and face to face workshops, site visits, model-making and youth led engagements. It also gives the young attendees the chance to work alongside professionals such as architects, town planners and TEP’s very own landscape and urban designer Tim Johns, who volunteers at the academy.
This July, 36 young people from diverse backgrounds throughout the north west arrived at the University of Liverpool School of Management to partake in a four-day programme during which the attendees were tasked with designing a unique neighbourhood for one of six sites across the region.
Working in groups and mentored by volunteering professionals, the cohort discussed and developed designs inspired by the Liverpool City Region’s Spatial Development Strategy (SDS). This strategy effectively lays out a blueprint for the region, detailing policies for use of land and adopting sustainable placemaking principles to ensure developments are connected and coherent, and prioritise the interests, desires and needs of the local community. Particular focus was given to the concept of the ‘15-minute neighbourhood’ model, which focusses on pedestrian accessibility from homes to nearby services and green spaces. The young cohort were particularly passionate about the impact developments would have on the environment and were keen to discuss and promote the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and water.
The summer school culminated in a celebratory exhibit of final designs and a graduation ceremony, attended by proud parents, care-givers and Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram. Feedback from the attendees was overwhelmingly positive, with the vast majority stating that they had gained a good understanding about built environment careers and prospective career paths, that they felt proud of what they had achieved, and had thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends.
For more information about The Placed Academy’s future programmes, please visit https://placed-academy.com.