Co-producing research with Up Our Street
Co-produced research – one of Urban ID’s core methodological tools – is emerging already on the East Bristol case study, where research is being undertaken in close collaboration with the community organisation Up Our Street. Up Our Street is a resident led voluntary organisation working in the Easton and Lawrence Hill wards of Bristol. They work with residents, social landlords, council departments, police, social enterprises and voluntary agencies to strive for a strong, vibrant and ever-improving neighbourhood. This involves patch projects, community meetings, walkabouts and surveys as well as a quarterly newsletter ‘Up Our Street’ which goes to 14,000 households in Easton and most of the Lawrence Hill ward.
The organisation is embedded within East Bristol, both in terms of their location and community engagement. Up Our Street’s Community Development and Research teams have been working with residents and stakeholders to explore the best use of space for all users of the mixed-use path. They have brought invaluable knowledges to research on the Bristol-Bath Railway Path, ranging from the more mundane – providing a local space to develop methodologies, to the pragmatic – mapping interesting routes, and also the serendipitous – engaging in passing conversations on the path with local acquaintances. At the same time, Urban ID’s Bristol-Bath Railway Path case study has allowed Up Our Street to delve deeper into some of the themes of their Wellbeing in Easton and Lawrence Hill Report (March 2017), namely services, environment and connectivity. These mutual benefits already signal at the potential of co-production as a way of addressing key urban challenges more widely. The co-produced ethic developed so far on the case study will be extended for an upcoming workshop in which researchers, stakeholders and local community members will collaborate to explore the existing values and potential futures of the railway path.