How do we build a team?
Setting up an Urban Room can be very labour intensive and requires tenacity, commitment and imagination. Running an Urban Room also requires plenty of time and energy, and the ability to engage diverse people in meaningful conversations about the built environment through creative engagement activities. To cover these attributes and skill sets, and to share the workload, you should try to build a strong and resilient team that can work well together to deliver a successful Urban Room.
Often the initial vision for an Urban Room comes from an individual or small group with a passion for participatory placemaking. It is important to maintain that vision while expanding the team in order to deliver the Urban Room in reality. This team can consist of colleagues, partners, students and volunteers - all supporting the Urban Room in different ways at different times.
Urban Room Network members offer these points of advice:
think carefully about the skill sets that are required, i.e. you may need team members with expertise on: specific issues in the built environment; working with particular demographics; creative methods of participation; workshop facilitation; fundraising; communication and publicity; film and photography; evaluation; budget management
what methods (i.e. tools and activities) do you want to use in your UR? This will help you define the skills you are looking for in team members. Of course, this can work the other way - what methods can your existing team offer?
be clear about the level of involvement you are asking for and what will the team members get in return, e.g. skills, space for their own activities, connections, payment
remember to cover the mundane yet incredibly important activities e.g. opening the premises and locking up, cleaning, greeting visitors, scheduling, etc.
ensure you have the right policies and procedures in place eg. safeguarding, lone-working, health and safety, code of conduct etc to support the wellbeing and safety of your team