Up & Running
How can we keep the Urban Room animated?
One of the biggest challenges as reported by Urban Room Networks members is keeping their Urban Rooms animated over an extended period of time. A successful UR is busy and active, offering
enough variety to entice visitors to come again and deepen their relationship with the space. A consistently empty or closed UR can be disheartening to people and it’s vital to communicate clearly to visitors when and for how long the UR will be open.
When planning your Urban Room, consider how long you can keep the space animated with the resources, helpers, partners and energy you have available to you. It’s better to have a dynamic Urban Room over several days than a quiet Urban Room stretched thin over several weeks.
Here are some more tips from URN members:
offer lots of different ways for people to participate and learn, individually or collectively - a range of activities creates energy and vibrancy in the space, as long as they are complementary!
focus on getting as wide a range of people as possible to feel some sense of ownership of or connection to the space. If someone wants to do something in your UR, try to say yes, whether it’s
yoga, sewing, performance art, or a gig. Give a reason for people to come in regularly because this is what gets people through the door to then look at what's on the walls and have a conversation about it
offer a programme of activities that are creative and playful to engage people in a variety of ways and to keep the UR active, dynamic and fresh for every visit
throw away the ‘consultation’ rule-book! engage creatives and designers to create and communicate activities that are unexpected, thought-provoking and out of the everyday - to stimulate, provoke and intrigue people
create displays of the outputs of previous activities that accumulate in the space over time - this gives people a reason to return, to see how things have changed and how they have contributed to this