Townhill Park

Southampton City Council

About the Project

We were commissioned to investigate how people are using buses, bikes, feet and cars to get around within Townhill Park, and to understand what makes these journeys tricky and what would make them better. We wanted to identify small changes that could happen to improve things.


5 ‘pop up’ engagement days over a period of 5 weeks in July and August 2012 & an animated film summary produced in 1 week in September 2012.

Our Tools & Approach

This project was about identifying small changes to footpaths, roads, cycle paths and bus services so we wanted to get out and about in the area as much as possible and encourage local people to physically point out the changes they would like to see happening. We created a portable set of props to allow people to label things they found tricky about their journey and things they found easy about their local journeys. We produced project luggage labels, viewfinders and maps of the area allowing us to use the same engagement technique irrespective of which group we were working with.

In order to reach a broad range of people we mapped out existing groups and activities happening in the area in order to go where people already go and make it easy for them to participate. We visited schools, scouts groups, over 60’s clubs, parents and toddlers groups, car boot sale and after school clubs as well as pop ups outside local shops, at school pick up and in local launderettes.

By encouraging people to take us on walkabouts we were able to get specific suggestions and uncover parts of the area, cut throughs and desire lines that the city council were not aware were an important part of local journeys.

Once we had collected a huge array of issues and opportunities we held a workshop to prioritise the ideas and select six key opportunities. We produced a short animation to summarise the project and highlight the opportunities in order to help people easily understand and access the findings.

We filtered through all of the insight we gathered and identified 6 key issues people wanted to see improved and how they thought they could be fixed. To make sure the findings had maximum impact we made a short animation which can easily be shared & digested.

Mott MacDonald completed a postal survey alongside this work allowing our face to face collection of qualitative data to promote the submission of the surveys and make the quantitative data more robust.