Co-production in action: Cynefin Cardiff

Cynefin is a Welsh Government funded programme managed and co-ordinated by Severn Wye Energy Agency. The aim of Cynefin is to test and develop new processes for supporting people in local places and to engage them in effective policy making to improve sustainability in their areas. The south east Cardiff ward cluster of Adamsdown, Cathays and Plasnewydd has been chosen as the place of focus.

Community Visioning
In mid-August 2013 a Cynefin Community Visioning Event was held at The Gate Arts Centre. Over 50 residents came along to a 2.5 hour session where they were given the chance to express what they felt were the main challenges, opportunities and risks (within a sustainability context) in their area. In addition, participants were asked to imagine what a sustainable future might look and feel like if the challenges could be addressed and opportunities realised.

Ideas Event
The community visions were presented at an event that took place in the National Museum Cardiff on 26th September 2013. Sustainability and community professionals, local politicians, academics, businesses and residents were invited to discuss possible solutions/project ideas relating to the visions and themes that emerged from the community visioning.

Scoping Meetings
Following the Ideas Event a series of ‘theme related’ scoping meetings took place. The aim of these meetings was to bring residents and professionals back together in order to establish desire and to prioritise project ideas. Over 70 individuals attended the meetings and projects sitting in the themes of growing, active travel, waste and the arts were prioritised.

Community Waymarking
A community waymarking workshop was held in January in partnership with Cardiff Council. Residents were invited to the event and were asked to vote on which type of sign they would like to see installed, what community assets they would like to see waymarked (the destinations) and where the signs should be placed. Around 20 people came to the session and 60 destinations were suggested. The results were analysed and 11 new waymarker signs will be installed that guide people to community assets whilst highlighting walking times. Additionally, 18 redundant signposts have been removed, thus not adding to ‘street clutter’.

Environmental Champions Street Quality Index (SQI) Surveys
Cynefin has been working with the student volunteer group: Environmental Champions. We have been surveying the cleanliness of 12 streets in Cathays using Keep Wales Tidy SQI survey methodology. We conducted two separate surveys in October and December (at the same time of day). Students then inputted and analysed the data. Part of the survey involved grading the overall quality of the streets from A to E with A being ‘very clean’ and E being ‘completely unacceptable’. The average from the two surveys suggests that 82% of streets surveyed were grade C or below. In light of these results the students wrote a letter to key stakeholders (University, Union, Council, Keep Wales Tidy and Landlords Representatives). They highlighted the results of the surveys and asked if the stakeholders would like to meet to discuss potential solutions to the problems in Cathays. Meeting date TBC – they are still awaiting responses.

Community Planters
Cardiff Council has offered community groups in the Cynefin area the use of 3 Large street planters to grow food and/or plants. A meeting took place on the 20th March where residents discussed where they could go and what might be planted in them.

Giant Reuse Event (in partnership with Green City Events & Made in Roath)
Community arts group Made in Roath, with the support of Cynefin, have put in a Big Lottery grant application to run a big swap shop/upcycling event to take place in October. If successful, interested residents will be invited to get involved in the planning/delivery and a meeting will take place in September.

Big Lunch World Street Food Festival (in partnership with Green City Events, Big Lunch, Communities 1st & Roath Residents Action Group)
Roath Residents and Cynefin have put in a Big Lottery grant application to run a Big Lunch World Street Food Festival to take place early June. If successful, interested residents will be invited to get involved in the planning/delivery and a meeting will take place in May. Fingers Crossed.

Cranbrook Street Mural
Although still very much in the planning stages this project provides an exciting opportunity to redevelop a street that gets heavily vandalised. Working with the Council, Cathays Community Centre, People Around Here, local artists and residents we are proposing to design and implement a huge 100 metre long mural on a wall in Cranbrook Street, Cathays. The design would aim to showcase the history and heritage of Cathays using different artistic techniques. A Tidy Towns funding application has been submitted.

If you want to find out more you can get in contact these ways:
Facebook: CynefinCardiff
Twitter: @CynefinCardiff