Democratising heritage and promoting it as a place of community cohesion, using digital platforms as crucial tools

Snapshot Solution
Birkenhead Park’s website, front page
Birkenhead Park

Birkenhead Park (UK), also called the ‘People’s Garden’, is a historic urban park, known for being one of the earliest examples of urban public park. As well as being a renowned historic park, it is green space and a place of social cohesion, used by many people, communities and organisations, where events/activities are often held. However, visitors are not necessarily aware of these initiatives and it has been necessary to develop the park's online presence through a dedicated website, and active social media channels, to enhance visitors’ experience, provide information about volunteering opportunities, educational activities, events, space rentals, local initiatives and regular activities happening in the park. Visitors (and non-visitors) are invited to directly contribute to the ‘park’s life’ by submitting their own events, write a blog article about a park-related or local community-related subject, share their photographs of the park, and much more.

Last update: 29 Jul 2023
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Context
Challenges addressed
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor governance and participation
Scale of implementation
Local
Subnational
National
Global
Ecosystems
Buildings and facilities
Green spaces (parks, gardens, urban forests)
Theme
Cities and infrastructure
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Culture
Location
Birkenhead Park, Park Dr., Birkenhead, England CH41 4HY, United Kingdom
North Europe
Impacts

The primary beneficiaries are local communities, organisations and park visitors. The aim of this action is to promote the place not only as a 'heritage site' to visit, but also as a community asset to use, where everyone feels welcome and encouraged ‘take ownership’ of the place.

 

Wirral Borough Council focused on establishing an open door for people to contact the park’s team to discuss ideas and initiatives, project proposals, and proposals for joint events and projects.

 

One recent example of this has been the establishment of a major ‘wellness event’ inside the park together with a yoga teacher who contacted the park through the website. During this event, local organisations and businesses focusing on health and wellbeing will gather in a kind of roadshow, promoting their activities, using the park as a platform to meet, connect, run workshops and activities, and share information about these important topics. If this is a success, this could become a yearly event that could potentially grow to attract people from further afield.

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