Issuu on Google+

COMMUNITY AUDITED PUBLIC SPACES

project guide

dallas | houston | rio grande valley | dc


2

1 1 Tenth Street Sweep : Sept 2014

3 2 Henderson Street Audit: Dec 2013

3 Downtown Dallas CAPS audit : Dec 2015

WHAT IS CAPS? Community Audited Public Space (CAPS) is a process that enables neighborhoods to set priorities and collect qualitative and quantitative data on issues important to their development,equipping them to be better informed champions for their communities. The CAPS process is used by neighborhoods to advocate to city agencies or private groups for public spaces, infrastructure, and development that better serves their needs. This process promotes public understanding of data, encourages knowledge and ownership of the public realm, and improves advocacy. CAPS builds on the idea that public knowledge is indispensable in understanding the experience of place and now neighborhoods are or are not productive within the city. In Dallas, CAPS has been used by neighborhoods to gather information and evaluate various aspects of their public realm. The Henderson neighborhood focused on the condition and presence of sidewalks. Tenth Street Historic District assessed and measured buildings, vacant lands, local ecology, and public infrastructure to gather tangible data on each. Downtown Dallas recorded physical conditions & qualitative aspects of sidewalks. Project Guide | Community Audited Public Spaces | 2

CAPS PRINCIPLES • Help neighborhoods set priorities for their public realm and create tools to measure its current condition and function. • For neighborhood constituents to better understand the public realm, increasing awareness of rules, regulations, and rights. • Facilitate neighborhoods working together to design a process to gather qualitative and quantitative information. • Challenge the control of data by increasing its accessibility and visibility. • Use data to advocate for public spaces and functions your neighborhood desires. • Demonstrate that there is no single voice or authority to determine how your neighborhood’s public realm should operate. • With an understanding that every neighborhood is unique, CAPS is a place based audit tool.


henderson neighborhood SiDewAlk AUDiT

Henderson Neighborhood Association & bcwORkSHOP November & December 2013

excellent and good

fair

poor

not present

crosswalk inaccessible

the sidewalk meets all city and ADA standards

the sidewalk has moderate cracking and flaking and the surface is rough but passable; there is at least 10’ continuous without any poor or missing section

the sidewalk has severe cracking and flaking that would make pushing a cart or stroller difficult; there is a significant trip hazards; sections of the sidewalk are sloped more than 8%

no sidewalk present; path is impassable

the crosswalk and curb ramp do not meet city or ADA standards

Henderson neighborhood Sidewalk Audit: Dec 2013

HOW IS IT DONE? CAPS is composed of five main tasks: defining neighborhood priorities, creating the neighborhood’s CAPS process, conducting the audit, synthesizing data, and advocating for current and future goals.

PRIORITIZE 1

together, determine your neighborhood’s priorities and how you would like to improve the public realm.

2

The CAPS process begins with the neighborhood coming together to create a list of priorities. Engaging a wide range of neighborhood constituents in this process creates a more comprehensive set of priorities. The process for conducting an audit is then created by the neighborhood, with expert help as needed, to tackle complex issues. The data collected through the audit process is then synthesized into a report that provides clear, objective information on physical aspects of the public realm. This report can then be used to advocate for and address neighborhood concerns. For example the Henderson Neighborhood was better able to advocate for their needs and contribute during the design of the Henderson Street Complete Streets project by the City of Dallas.

what is the public realm?

3 4 5

CREATE

create an audit process that is suitable to analyze and collect data for your neighborhood priorities.

CONDUCT

conduct public audit events to improve knowledge of the public realm and bring neighborhood constituents together.

SYNTHESIZE

data collected through the audit should be analyzed and synthesized into a report that present the findings in an easily understood format.

• The public realm are the areas of a neighborhood that are publicly owned or open to all; sidewalks, parks, right of way, open spaces, and streets that everyone can access.

• The public realm plays a vital role in our day-today working and living environment, and its quality contributes immensely to our overall experience and our physical and mental health.

ADVOCATE

use data to advocate change and improvements in your neighborhood.

Project Guide | Community Audited Public Spaces | 3


1. definE neighborhood priorities With your neighborhood ask the question, ”what physical change would you advocate for in your neighborhood?” Make a list of priorities that you feel will improve your neighborhood, identifying strengths, needs, and challenges of your neighborhood’s public realm. Creating the right audit questions is a vital step in the CAPS process.

AUDIT research QUESTION EXAMPLES • How do we strengthen neighborhood connectivity by improving pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure?

• How do we activate and improve safety of public spaces in our neighborhood?

• Which properties and/or activities in our neighborhood require attention?

Questions should name the aspects of the public realm that the neighborhood has chosen to tackle through the audit. Determine desired goals to clarify what kind of data has to be collected to achieve that goal and show why it is important. If needed, find experts who can help define the questions and determine how to move towards a desired outcome.

2. find or CREATE YOUR CAPS PROCESS Depending on what is being evaluated, the type of data required changes. Knowing your questions and the desired outcome, determine the type of data your audit should collect. Check if there is existing data you can use and determine its usefulness - date of creation, data limitations, and area covered. Research if there are existing audit processes that people have already created and determine if one of these meets your needs (see list of examples and resources in appendix). Keep in mind that existing resources should not limit the scope of your audit.

Henderson neighborhood Sidewalk Audit: Dec 2013

If no process exists to meet your needs, create an audit tool to collect data in a systematic and organized format. It is important to ensure that the right kind of data is collected, which may require multiple steps or tools. Create a set of audit materials to complete at your audit event. Recruit teams of residents, volunteers, and professionals. Designate team leaders, leaders should know how the CAPS process works and should be able to guide their team through the audit.

3. CONDUCT CAPS AUDIT

Tenth Street Sweep : Sept 2014

The CAPS process should be tested with a small group before the official audit to evaluate and fix issues. This can help estimate the overall time required to conduct the audit, and to determine all the material and the number of volunteers required. This is a good opportunity to train team leaders. Advertise audit events using social media, flyers & neighborhood meetings to inform & recruit maximum volunteers. Hold audit events in a place that is accessible to the neighborhood. Places like neighborhood community center, open parks or playgrounds, and centrally located public plazas work well. Downtown Dallas neighborhood CAPS audit process : Dec 2015 Project Guide | Community Audited Public Spaces | 4


4. synthesizE data

Tenth Street Sweep - Results

CAPS CHECKLIST

8th Street

The data collected through the audit may be in various forms: ratings, written descriptions, photographs, etc. Analyze the data and convert it to a medium that is best suited to document and share the work. G

G

A

G

A G

G A

Identify and define neighborhood area and zones to be audited. Estimate the number of volunteers and events required to complete the audit. Create and organize audit materials (maps, orientation flyers, survey sheets and recording tools) The analysis and synthesis can take the form of maps, annotated Provide equipment to complete the audit - cameras, tape photographs, statistics, or written reports, choose the format measures, and maps (this equipment should be easy for that best presents the data you have collected. An expert may volunteers to use during the audit). need to help to synthesize and present the analysis. The final Train team leaders and volunteers so that they are able to document should reflect the community engaged process that conduct audit (each team should have one team leader shaped the analysis and conclusions. who ensures data is collected through same set mediums in each team, so that no data is lost.) Tenth Street Sweep -Do Results not ask volunteers to take on responsibilities that are 5. advocate for your public space uncomfortable for them. Hold audit events in public locations. Ensure weather Data presents verified facts on the public realm. Use your conditions allow for outdoor activities. data and analysis to form advocacy campaigns, raise funds for a project, or design proposals that will address the goals you set at the beginning of your project. G

G

Anthony Street

A

Church Street

Chruch Street

G

G

G

A

A

9th Street

Cliff Street

A G

Moore Street

9th Street

A

Noah Street

PlumStreet

A

A

Tenth Street

A

Boswell Street

G

A

G

A

A

G

G

A

A

G

G

Church Street

11th Street

A G

G A

nd

A

La

G

A

is S

8th Street

G

e Av on nd are Cl

G

G

G

A

Anthony Street

G

tre e t (unimproved)

G A

Bet ter ton Cir cle

G

G

Chruch Street

G

A G

9th Street

LEGEND

A

sidewalk

Noah Street

no sidewalk present PlumStreet

G

Leads Street

Flemming Street

A

A

A

S Cli ff Str eet

G

GA

G

Moore Street

9th Street

G

A

Cliff Street

G

G

A

is Str ee t

Ensure that data is used for future work by distributing results and archiving the results so that they are accessible to neighbors and interested parties. Updated information can be added to the report in the future.

G

G A

Land

G A

G

A

A

Tenth Street

A

G

A

examples of Auditing tools

excellent/new sidewalks

Boswell Street

street

G

no street surface present

A G A

streets with no curbs illegal dumping is present or occurs regularly

La

trees are interfering with power lines property is unmaintained A G

G

G

A

G

A

G

11th Street

G is Str ee t

G A

A

G G GA

street light present (status unknown)

G

A

G

garage or accesory unit present

A

addition to primary building

Land

G A

G

dcad property lines LEGEND

sidewalk no structure present

no sidewalk present

A

G Leads Street

Flemming Street

Survey Questionnaire: Create a set of questions that evaluate physical aspects of the public realm. Survey questions will help to perform an organized audit of qualitative information and may be linked to a map. The questions should be easy to answer. Creating a rating scale or asking for small descriptions can make surveys more easy to use.

excellent/new streets e Av on nd are Cl

nd

ue ven nA

S Cli ff Str eet

o end Clar

A

Bet ter ton Ci rcl e

is S

Maps: A map can be used to orient the audit participants to the area they will be working and as a tool to record audit information. Maps are especially important if an audit question needs specific geographic information. Ensure that your map is at correct scale for the level of detail you are collecting and has enough information - north arrow, scale, street names - to use.

G

tre e t (unimproved)

A G A G

properties not surveyed excellent/new sidewalks

G

properties surveyed but data lost street

Tenth Street Sweep result map: Sept 2014

no street surface present

excellent/new streets

A G AG

streets with no curbs illegal dumping is present or occurs regularly

o end Clar

ue ven nA

trees are interfering with power lines property is unmaintained

Digital Tools: Audits can also be conducted by finding an existing app or by creating an app that meets your needs. Ensure that anyone from the neighborhood can download the app on their phones and conduct the survey. An app will provide flexibility in how and when the audit takes place and it is possible that it can aid in data analysis and mapping.

street light present (status unknown) G

garage or accesory unit present

A

addition to primary building

dcad property lines no structure present properties not surveyed properties surveyed but data lost

Downtown Dallas neighborhood CAPS Survey Questionnaire: Dec 2015 Project Guide | Community Audited Public Spaces | 5


WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? CAPS is a process that neighborhoods can use to set priorities for the physical realm in their neighborhood, define through the use of data and analysis what is important to them, and begin to address their desires through project scoping.. CAPS is a place based audit tool that uses community engagement, data collection, and analysis to enable strategic decision making to improve neighborhoods.

INCREASE AWARENESS OF PUBLIC REALM With the ability to collect and synthesize data, neighborhood becomes more aware of their public realm; their rights, responsibilities and concerns regarding their public realm. Knowledge formed through CAPS brings the community together and allow community to be more responsible for their public assets.

SUPPORT NEIGHBORHOOD TO ACHIEVE THEIR OWN GOALS FOR PUBLIC REALM Each neighborhood has unique set of issues, amenities and priorities. People that inhabit the public realm in their day-to-day activities should have the ability to participate and decide what is important for that space. CAPS equips your neighborhood to collect data on priorities set together, making you experts of their public spaces. In the process they are able to advocate for the public space they want.

Henderson neighborhood Sidewalk Audit: Dec 2013

Traditional process We want a better public realm in our neighborhood, who can help us?

I know exactly how to help your neighborhood, we did the same thing across town last year.

All this area needs is to build 4’ sidewalks where they are missing, that will give them exactly what they are looking form!

This sidewalk is okay, but doesn’t address the concerns we raised with the city...

Decision Makers

CAPS process

We want a better public realm in our neighborhood, who can help us?

We have an idea, will you help us create goals for our neighborhood? If we collect data and use it to prioritize decision, maybe we will have greater success? sure!

This is a great idea, we can help your neighborhood implement it. Thank you for your hard work!

we can help too!

Decision Makers

Project Guide | Community Audited Public Spaces | 6

Look what we created working together!


ABOUT [bc]

The buildingcommunityWORKSHOP ([bc]) is a nonprofit community design center seeking to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making. We enrich the lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to areas of our cities where resources are most scarce. To do so, [bc] recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic, and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work. As the only community design organization working across Texas, [bc] is unique in its approach to community engagement. We form strong relationships through our collaborative design work, educational outreach activities, and social media channels, enabling us to engage with a broad segment of the population. The success of our work is contingent upon reaching those residents not typically sought out by the design and planning community. [bc] was established in Dallas in 2005 and opened a field office in Brownsville in 2011. A Houston office followed in 2013, and a Washington DC office in 2015. We organize our work into six methods: informing, analyzing, mapping, activating, making and storytelling.

Further reading • Refer to the CAPS Project Guide Appendix to get a more details on auditing tools.

• Detroit Blight Elimination Task Force by City of Detroit https://www.motorcitymapping.org/about

• Neighborland App - a toolkit for civic projects https://neighborland.com/

• rePhoto App: http://projectrephoto.com/

Project Links Activating Vacancy Tenth Street Sweep https://vimeo.com/110297039 contact: inform@bcworkshop.org

Tenth Street Sweep : Sept 2014 Project Guide | Community Audited Public Spaces | 7


buildingcommunityWORKSHOP 416 s ervay street dallas, texas 75201 214.252.2900 inform@bcWORKSHOP.org bcWORKSHOP.org facebook.com/bcWORKSHOP twitter.com/bcWORKSHOP vimeo.com/bcWORKSHOP Project Guide | Community Audited Public Spaces | 8


Project Guide: Community Audited Public Spaces