Co-founder, Nudge Community Builders. Recorded on 29 April 2020
No one can deny that every city has an ambition to regenerate in some capacity.
We have all seen it, the standard, off the shelf strategy that commits to regenerating communities and locations. You will probably have seen the equally generic action plan to accompany the strategy that talks about capital development, new infrastructure and investment.
Often this is bought in from experts and works on the basis that new is better.
Interestingly though, the origin of the word regeneration literally means to ‘create again’. Thus there is an implication that there was something there in the first place.
A previously successful and productive system existed. So imagine if this was the starting point for a regeneration strategy. A belief that the foundations already exist, that the expertise already lie within the community and that the role of regeneration is not to replace or discard but to nurture the existing ecosystem to reach a point of resilience.
This is exactly the approach adopted by Hannah Sloggett and her team at Nudge Community Builders.
A community benefit company embedded within community and place, supporting long term, sustainable regeneration by unlocking, empowering and facilitating.
Nudge believe in building on from the work that has gone before and that, with the right conditions, communities can regenerate themselves.
One of the principles of creating a nurturing rather than controlling environment is community ownership. If we trust communities to own their own assets and make their own decisions there is a level of local accountability that surpasses anything that can be achieved with external developers or interventions.
You see, communities are in it for the long haul and not just a quick buck. They want the best for their family and neighbours now, but also for generations to come.
As such their decision making is based on supporting the entire ecosystem, reinvesting into the community and creating lasting benefit based on shared values.
Imagine though if Nudge was not just one organisation operating within one neighbourhood of the city, but rather, the approach of one city operating within all neighbourhoods.
What if we developed a ‘Plymouth approach’ that was founded on the believe that something great already exists within every community and we simply need to create the conditions for it to flourish once more?
What if, as part of the Plymouth approach, organisations with power, expertise, influence or money understood that their sole purpose is to serve their communities, making community ownership and localised decision making possible?
Maybe it’s too big a leap from where we are, or maybe we just need a little nudge.
Now there’s a thought.