Partnership Curation | Cultural Infrastructure | Placemaking Strategy
The Green Heart Partnership (GHP) was a six-year initiative across the county of Hertfordshire which began in April 2004 and was project managed by Haring Woods Studio. It was a partnership between Arts Council England, East and the eleven local authorities of Hertfordshire that aims to bring together the arts and environment sectors and collaboratively achieve sustainable solutions for the public realm. From the outset, we saw an opportunity to make a long-term difference to the working processes of local government through GHP. Using a collaborative methodology, GHP built interdisciplinary teams with professionals from a range of departments and brings artists and creative professionals to the team to instigate a creative approach to solving problems and developing achievable action plans.
GHP worked on a number of projects across Hertfordshire, including some county-wide initiatives. These involved creative practitioners within local authority teams working to engage the community in a specific site, physically redevelop the public realm or develop new local government policy about future public spaces. GHP has had a significant impact on the way that local authorities develop projects in general, and has resulted in more efficiency and closer working relationships across departments.
The team consists of Planning Officers, Environmental Officers, Health and Safety Officers, Highways Engineers, external stakeholders among others and together they address the inevitable knowledge gaps in the project teams. We created ‘Perception AREA’ community engagement approach to support these inter-disciplinary teams to make informed decisions. By placing artists at the heart of the community, it enables them to capture the perceptions of local people and qualitative information that can direct and help focus the team’s decisions.Funding for the core work of the partnership came in the form of annual subscriptions from each of the partner local authorities (redirecting their previous subscriptions to the Local Government Arts Forum) matched by a substantial Grants for the Arts award from Arts Council England, East. Specific projects were funded by the individual partners and GHP’s approach has also secured significant match funding from local, regional and national partners.
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