Recognising the value of meaningful community engagement experiences for Kingston University students, KU Community began as a project that would help them gain valuable skills and become participating members of the wider Kingston community.
Ten students were recruited from across the university and were tasked with undertaking a community mapping project of the Royal Borough of Kingston (RBK).
Community mapping is a participatory research method that focusses on assets rather than deficits, the good rather than the bad within a community. By mapping the existing assets within Kingston - such as green spaces, faith institutions, sports clubs, historical memorials, etc. - we can identify opportunities for collaboration between organisations as well as reveal any areas of need for which we can work with the community to address.
The KU Community Mapping Project was action-based research that we hope will have meaningful outcomes for the RBK community. Mapping the whole of the Borough was a huge task. The Team braved the cold, wind and rain and managed to walk every public road in the Borough (that's over 326km) identifying assets in each neighbourhood and ward. They ran four neighbourhood mapping sessions, where members of the community gave us their viewpoint about what they hope and fear for Kingston, as well as sharing their stories about their lives here. All of this information contributed to the creation of the online asset map below.
Community members agreed that RBK is a really wonderful place to live, work, and study, and identified many of the defining assets within the Borough, including:
This is just a sampling of the assets we defined - check out our Asset Map to see the rest. The map is a work in progress - we need your help to make sure it stays up to date. If you find any changes that need to be made or any assets that needs to be added just let us know. Most of the assets we identified were visible assets that have physical locations. However, we know that there are a plethora of assets within the community that are hidden, and we would love to highlight them.