The term ‘hackathon’ traditionally comes from the IT industry, whereby computer programmers and software developers collaborate in an intensive situation to solve a specific problem. Open City took a similar approach to help answer Green Sky Thinking week’s overarching topic of ‘How to Build an Open City’.
Representatives from a range of organisations including architects, developers, engineers and project managers were given the topic of ‘A day in the life of Brent Cross South’ as the theme for the day. Brent Cross South is part of the wider Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme that will create a new town centre, 7,500 new homes, 27,000 jobs, schools, community facilities, a redeveloped shopping centre, a new train station and other public transport improvements.
Participants were divided into teams and each given a persona to use throughout the day and imagine how this individual would spend a day in Brent Cross South. Considerations had to include what they do, how they move around, where they work, how they spend their leisure time and how their lives could be improved by the design of the space. Designs were then produced for specific implementations within the public realm that could enable that individual to make better use of the space and improve a particular aspect of their life within Brent Cross South. Solutions considered wayfinding and all aspects of wellbeing – both mental and physical – to ensure that any implementation worked from many viewpoints and made for better use of the public realm.
It is hoped that some of the solutions may be integrated, in part, within the Brent Cross South development and the thinking and ideas from the event can be used for other developments in the future.