Local engagement for parks and open space

Brief and Objectives

Ebbsfleet Garden City is the vision to create a brand new town, with over 15,000 homes, a major new commercial centre, improved public transport and seven major parks connected by green corridors.

Athene Communications designed and delivered a creative and engaging public consultation on the future use and look of the seven major parks.

The problem faced by the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) was a desire to bring residents (especially families) to the parkland – but the areas did not have the infrastructure to hold a safe and accessible consultation. Athene provided a solution to this problem by creating parks indoors, with a ‘Picnic in the Park’ theme.


Strategy and tactics

The exhibitions were held at schools located within the heart of the community. In order to create an authentic ‘Picnic in the Park’ feel that would be engaging, family-friendly and still encourage the ultimate aim of getting feedback on plans for the park, we used a number of tactics.

These included a range of props to create different parks, including woodland and an urban beach; information boards for each park, explaining the land’s character, features and key functions, with an artist sketch of the landscape.

Face-painters and balloon modellers were hired to encourage attendance from the younger generations and ensure a family-friendly atmosphere. A red post-box was used to receive feedback forms.


Measurement and Evaluation

  • 117 people attended across two exhibitions – inc. 48 children.
  • 100 feedback forms were completed
  • 558 individual comments were made
  • 146 unique park ideas or suggestions submitted during the consultation.