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A visit to Liverpool

Meeting the community group behind 'Friends of the Flyover'

This month we visited a group of collaborative place makers in Liverpool and were inspired by their story. Friends of the Flyover want to save the little used ‘Churchill Way’ flyover from demolition and instead turn it into a high level public space, transforming the concrete strip with planting, kiosks, cafes, lighting and power infrastructure. This would save the city millions in demolition costs and help spread the bustle of the city centre through a green, iconic, landmark toward the City Library and World Museum, which are currently segregated from the main centre by a busy road. It seems like a no-brainer so its great to hear about their journey so far and see how we can apply some of the lessons they’ve learnt to the Coal Line.

After a successful crowd funding campaign last year The Friends of the Flyover were able to fund a feasibility study and hold a festival on the structure that attracted thousands of visitors. Their next step is to start work on a Wiki house on the site, which will provide a space for other local grassroots groups to use. All this got us thinking about which bits of the Coal Line we might be able to open up first, so which bit would you love to see?

Liverpool generally is a buzz of grassroots energy from community housing projects by Assemble to the independent energy of the Baltic Triangle – a sort of creative rebellion born out of exasperation with failed top down re-generation that more often than not includes an identi-kit shopping mall. It is great to realise that we are not alone and that there are hundreds of fantastic community projects all over the country with the potential to link and support each other going forward.

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