Connected Communities - Hoodie, goodie, buddy

1 Apr 2009 by Karl Hallam

Cadence's, JRF funded, Hoodie, goodie, buddy project seems to strike a chord with people working in a number of areas. The RSA's Connected Communities project is an interesting and good example that aims to 'explore how social capital and social networks can be better understood and used to deliver the communities we want and need'.

The RSA research is being overseen by their research director, Steve Broome, who up until recently worked on a New Deal for Communities project, which will mean that the project recommendations should be meaningful to both policy makers and communities themselves. Cadence will follow this project closely.

One of the Fellow supporting him is Stephen Feber, who was instrumental in setting up the Magna science adventure centre. As a Sheffield based company, Cadence are more than aware of what a great place is to take families, but it is less obvious what role it plays in the surrounding communities. The business cases in funding bids for such initiatives often emphasise how they will be a great resource for local people, but this is not always the case when they are built. In Cadence's work on place based innovation the Eden Centre in Cornwall has featured as an interesting example, having a much wider effect beyond a tourist attraction.

There does seem to be a genuine consensus building around the need for more participative approaches to regeneration and community building. One that moves beyond the traditonal consultation on already decided and limited options model that has predominated over the last decade. Developing an understanding of how places like Eden can bring about change and the Connected Communities project will hopefully help turn the consensus into a new way of doing things.




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