This year marks the 40th year that Landscape Architecture at Leeds Met has run the 'Design and Community' programme, providing more than 150 diverse design challenges for students to date, whilst making a real difference for real clients in local communities. The programme was awarded the 'Best Community Involvement Scheme in the past 75 years' by the Landscape Institute in 2004.
Students are working on five innovative projects including; a new public garden on the banks of the River Aire to reflect the story of David Oluwale, a Nigerian immigrant who came to Leeds in 1949, within the context of Leeds today; a project for Housing Leeds which will act as a catalyst for environmental change and improvement on the Woodbridge Estate in Kirkstall; a gateway garden for Bradford Royal Infirmary; a campsite and masterplan for Herd Farm Activity Centre; and a masterplan and school entrance space for Fountain Primary School in Morley.
Emma Oldroyd, who is a qualified Landscape Architect and leads the University projects, said: "Working with real communities and clients on projects that influence genuine change is an invaluable experience for students and helps them stand out from the crowd when looking for work in design practices. The programme provides an experience that is about as close to professional practice as you can get while still being a student. Throughout the course, the students manage the client relationship, plan and deliver a community consultation programme and finally present a design package that meets their client's needs and I'm proud to say that our students put their heart and soul into it."
Marie-Pierre Dupont, Tenancy and Estate Management Coordinator at Housing Leeds, added: "I was very impressed how quickly the students grasped the issues and saw the potential of the Woodbridge neighbourhood through working with local residents. I am looking forward to seeing the final design proposals so we can explore how we might move forward with them."
The final design proposals will be on show at a public exhibition that will run from Thursday 23 January until Friday 14 February 2014 in the foyer of the university's Broadcasting Place.