Curious people from across Wolverhampton and the Black Country gathered virtually on 6th August 2020, in the the first of three gatherings to:
- RE:IMAGINE Wolverhampton into a city we want to live, play and work in.
- RE:IGNITE plans to make our ideas happen together.
- RE:ACTIVATE our co-designs into collective action.
‘What if Wolverhampton was powered by the people who live and work here?’
In these strange days of pandemic and climate change, we need our imagination more than ever. During this time, what seemed impossible a few months ago, all of a sudden doesn’t seem quite so impossible.
Following Hopkins’ lead, we each imagined we were in a time machine travelling into 2030 to discover that ‘everything that could possibly have been done, was done’:
It is not yet utopia, but it is a remarkable transition that was almost unimaginable ten years previously.
We are stepping out into a world that is low carbon, more diverse, fairer, more equal, more just, and rich in biodiversity.
It is a world, where thanks to sustained activism and cultural shifts, Wolverhampton is seen now as one of the greatest cities in the world for people to be able to participate, create projects, work together in their neighbourhoods and this is an every day experience.
It truly is a people powered city.
Imagine as you look out of your front door, look down your street, think of all the places you might visit in the day or week.
What do they look like?
What do you smell, see and feel as you walk around your neighbourhood?
What is here in our city to make it the best people powered city in the world?
What are people creating?
Imagine that everything you have always thought would make Wolverhampton an even more incredible place to live, has happened.
Our Reimagined Wolverhampton in 2030
People are brought together in a vibrant and diverse cultural life. There is no homelessness. People are positive, and encourage each other. They co-design intergenerational activities together in spaces across every Wolverhampton neighbourhood. These are places where people can serendipitously meet up, play, grow and share food, watch live music, and take part in performances.
People know what is happening across Wolverhampton. There are chalkboards with community notices, and a collective guide that entices people to events and festivals in other neighbourhoods. They walk and cycle between places along safe, tree-lined routes. They travel breathing in the clean, fresh air, listening to birdsong, and marvelling at the biodiversity of Wolverhampton. Some roads are still in use by electric cars and public transport. Others have been transformed into gardens and parks with pop-up markets for growers and makers. Children are playing freely and safely.
People wander along litter-free, colourful streets, pointing to the vertical and rooftop gardens, smelling flower boxes, and looking out for the latest street art. They walk past a plethora of thriving independent businesses and arts venues. People peek into the Centre of Innovative Green Technology, and learn about the renewable energy district heating systems being installed across Wolverhampton.
They approach container city, home to co-working spaces and artist studios, with independent shops and restaurants. This is the creative hub of the city, celebrating local skills and talents. Wolverhampton is internationally renowned for its craft and creativity. People come here to learn and gain jobs that make them happy, and support a healthy living.
Empty buildings and shopping centres have been renovated and repurposed to create nurseries, galleries, schools and public spaces. Affordable, carbon-zero homes designed to contribute to wellbeing are spread throughout the city. The city streets are alive at all hours, without a shutter in sight. Families and tourists visit throughout the day and evening for leisure and entertainment, and to grab a bite to eat and drink on their way home at the night markets and pop-up breweries.
? What does your reimagined Wolverhampton look like? Get in touch with us to let us know your ideas. You can contact us via Email and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Eventbrite.
We invited each Wulfrunian to share a word that described how they were feeling having reimagined Wolverhampton:
At our next gathering RE:IGNITE we will collectively explore how we can start making changes to pave the way for our reimagined future.
? Join our mailing list and to find out about future events and how to get involved.
We also took participants on a whistle-stop tour of what Wolverhampton for Everyone is about, and what we have been up to:
Maria Billington, Director of Gatis: A Morale Officer is essentially anyone who, through a simple act of kindness, makes their community a better place to live. Someone who smiles and waves at their neighbours or people in the street, someone who checks in on their neighbours or helps out when needed. Everyone has the capacity to be a Morale Officer, sometimes people just need a bit of help to get there.
Our aim is to be that help and support that enables local residents to reach out to each other, learn from each other, and make our city a better place to live. A survey of local residents signing up to the programme showed that 70% had offered more support since lockdown started and 50% said they felt they would benefit from some training in signposting and mental health first aid.
These are the kinds of things we want to support, giving people the confidence and tools to make small changes in their community for the better.
? If you would like to find out more, just drop an email to email@example.com
?The Wolverhampton for Everyone Library
We like to share resources we’ve found helpful or interesting so others can delve into them for information and inspiration:
- ? EF Schumacher: Is Small the Next Big?— Saffi unearthed this from 4 years ago. “This reminded me that WE are aiming to develop much of what is discussed in this short documentary. Wolverhampton: developing as if people mattered. Enjoy!”
- ? Community Lover’s Guide — This treasure trove of community projects is another root source of Wolverhampton for Everyone.
- ? Three Invaluable Tools to Boost your Resilience — James joined Eden Project Communities for their get together, and they shared this great video on resilience.