17 Mar 2016
Community innovation at the heart of new research projects
Harnessing the power of the community is at the heart of two new Loughborough University research projects set to get underway following the award of funding.
The projects are designed to improve social outcomes for people through collaboration.
On the Town is being led and co-ordinated by lecturer Carolina Escobar-Tello from the Loughborough Design School. It aims to bring together local and higher education student communities by focusing on improving peoples’ lives through community building activities steered by, and for, young local groups.
There will be a focus on using community animation to interact with participants via collaborative workshops. Impacts for participants will include increased skills in organising, leading, communication and civil engagement. It is hoped that one outcome would be the creation of a local ambassador programme, fostering dialogue between the community and the transient student population.
Coventry and Keele Universities are also involved in the research. The similarities and differences between the three communities in respect of their differing student numbers and student profiles will be considered as part of the project.
Dr Carolina Escobar-Tello comments: We are seeking to explore innovative ways for existing relationships to develop and new relationships to be nurtured. Key to success will be to empower the local communities with skills to engage in relationship building that places community interest at the heart of the interaction.
“The impact will bring people closer together, boost their sense of belonging and local pride and ensure students have a positive relationship and understanding of the community.”
Loughborough University London is a partner in A Silicon Valley for Greenwich a project that will contribute to the Smart City programme for Greenwich, launched last year. The programme sets out how the Council proposes to implement ‘smarter’ approaches to the challenges it faces delivering services in the Borough and in creating new opportunities.
The full press release is available to view here.