SUN, SAND AND SALSA. FORGET BARBADOS, WELCOME TO BRISTOL BEACH!
Thursday July 19, 2007 17:02 by Rupert Faircilff - Demos
Demos transforms car park for six-week summer in the city
Bristolians are set to benefit from their own city oasis when think tank Demos transforms a derelict car park at Redcliffe Wharf into a 1500 square metre urban beach, complete with 800 tonnes of sand, palm trees and deck chairs on Saturday 21 July.
Suggested by residents of Redcliffe at a community event, the urban beach is part of an experimental project to encourage people to use different spaces to meet and interact with each other.
Visitors to the beach, which will be open from 8am - sunset everyday until September, will be able to join in beach activities such as volleyball and sandcastle making, learn salsa, caporia and knitting or just relax and listen to live music.
Melissa Mean, Head of Demos’ Cities Programme says: “We want people to make this beach their own and use it to meet new people and try out new things. We’ve built the beach using locally sourced sand, solar energy and buildings that are fully recyclable. And we’ll be encouraging visitors to recycle all their rubbish.
“Turning a rundown space into somewhere people can actually use will help us learn what regeneration projects are possible in large cities like Bristol.”
Liz Johns, Community Regeneration Manager at the South West of England Regional Development Agency says: “Bristol Beach will be a thriving and vibrant public space for residents, visitors and local businesses. With food and drink being provided by local Bristol entrepreneurs and a range of creative and cultural events taking place, the urban beach will promote Bristol as a creative place to visit, work and live. This is an innovative way to reinforce the message that South West England is a centre for creativity and enterprise.”
The opening on Saturday will be marked with a Redcliffe community beach party from noon until sunset. There will be activities from all ages including Arabian dancing, drumming workshops, an African band and sandcastle competitions.
Emily Price at Bristol City Council says: “We're looking forward to using the harbour in a new and exciting way. The wharf boasts some of the best views of the city and we hope that people will take this opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the summer in Bristol. Fingers crossed for the weather!"
• The Bristol Beach project is being led by Demos, an independent think tank www.demos.co.uk, and Zero Zero, a not-for-profit architectural development agency, with Nest Building, a sustainable building practice. Melissa Mean Head of the Cities Programme at Demos and a resident of Redcliffe is leading the project.
• The £120k project is being sponsored by the South West of England Regional Development Agency, Bristol City Council, Hewlett Packard and Skanska. The construction of the project has also been supported by Churngold and Febrey Ltd.