Living, Working, Playing with Water: Exploring Perceptions of Water in the Urban Environment Through Creative Practice

Donald, M. (2018) Living, Working, Playing with Water: Exploring Perceptions of Water in the Urban Environment Through Creative Practice. Project Report. The Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership, Glasgow.

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The systems, processes and infrastructure through which water is managed— particularly in drainage, waste water and drinking water schemes— are often incomprehensible and invisible to the general public, leading to gaps in knowledge about how water operates in our daily lives. This fosters ignorance, powerlessness and irresponsible practices, which are significant factors in escalating water-related environmental issues such as flooding, drought and pollution. The project, Living, Working, Playing with Water, used creative practice as a tool to address these gaps in knowledge— with a specific focus on sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). The decision to focus on SuDS was taken in response to recognition, amongst professionals working in surface water management and related areas in Glasgow, that there was room for improvement in the ways in which SuDS were integrated into some, largely residential, developments—particularly in terms of residents’ perceptions of and interactions with SuDS.1 Given that SuDS are mandatory in all new developments in the UK, it was felt that gathering intelligence and testing new approaches in relation to this issue could have specific benefits in improving the design, construction and integration of SuDS, as well as wider applications in addressing gaps in knowledge about water management infrastructure more generally. The project focused on the relationship between professional surface water management practices and public perceptions of water in three areas in Glasgow. The areas were chosen as each is a new or recent development that features SuDS at a different stage of planning, construction and integration. The three areas also have varied topographies, different types of existing water feature and different histories of development and land use. Aims 1/to gauge existing attitudes towards water in urban environments 2/to test the potential of playful, creative practice to address gaps in knowledge and to reconnect public and professional attitudes towards water 3/to develop a toolkit for engaging with publics in the planning, design, implementation and maintenance of open waterbodies/SuDS The project was devised and delivered by artist-researchers Dr Minty Donald and Nick Millar, with Dr Ursula Lang, and in partnership with Glasgow City Council Development and Regeneration Services (GCC DRS) and the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP). Living, Working, Playing with Water took place between August 2016 and March 2017. Living, Working, Playing with Water used and extended methods and practices developed by Donald and Millar as part of their ongoing creative research into human-water inter-relations.

Item Type:Research Reports or Papers (Project Report)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Donald, Professor Minty
Authors: Donald, M.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Publisher:The Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Author
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the author
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