Dott07 was a project that sought to demonstrate what a sustainable region would look like.
The project was part of a larger programme of activity in the North East of England known as Dott07 (Designs of the time 2007). Dott07 was a year of community projects, events and exhibitions in North East England that explored what life in a sustainable region could be like, and how design could help us to get there. It was part of a larger, on-going national initiative of the Design Council. Dott07 was delivered with the regional development agency, One NorthEast.
The purpose of the project was to find a new way in which the town of Middlesbrough could sow the seeds of a more sustainable economy. Project partners included Dott07, One NorthEast, Middlesbrough Council, Middlesbrough PCT, BioRegional Quintain Ltd., Northern Rock Foundation. People could source food from places closer to home and could also effectively link the many people and organisations who already participate in the social and environmental regeneration of the town.
• Growing a community: In April, over 60 community groups elected to grow fruit and produce in over 250 different sized containers across the town: in school yards, the windowsills of hospitals, the foyers of offices and open plains of the town's university campus. Middlesbrough Council grew food in public parks. The project was delivered by Groundwork South Tees.
• The harvest: Across the growing season, the town's new urban farmers harvested their crops and brought them to "kitchen playgrounds". Chefs led classes in neighbourhood centres across town in which people learned, cooked and ate recipes using butternut squash, tomatoes and other produce that they had grown. This element of the project was run by Middlesbrough Council and Middlesbrough CT, in conjunction with local schools and Sure Start Centres in the town.
• The ‘town meal’: In September, a final harvest took place and in the town's main square, the growers came together in a "town meal" attended by over 6000 people. 'The Really Super Market' was organised by Middlesbrough Council and the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, curated by artist Bob and Roberta Smith. The day challenged people to answer the question: "What's the more important organ, the brain or the stomach?" 2500 people who participated in the project as growers came to the event and ate food prepared by the Schools Catering Service.
• The future: The locations that participants chose to grow food as part of the project were mapped by architects Andrew Viljoen and Kartin Bohn. They formed part of a town-scale opportunity map to turn vacant and green spaces in the town in to a 'continuous productive urban landscape'.
• Over 1000 people grew food as part of the project. The local authority is now considering a new strategy that will enable 'pocket allotments' to be created across the town, rather than at concentrated single sites on the periphery of the town.
• Service delivery organisations in the town are also considering enabling a social enterprise restaurant project in the town. The produce would be supplied by the town's new 'urban farmers'.
This article was originally submitted by David Barrie but has since been adapted.
The project profile can be viewed here.
Consultant Project Director: David Barrie - firstname.lastname@example.org, davidbarrie.typepad.com.
Project Advisor: Debra Solomon, Culiblog - http://www.culiblog.com.
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