People Centered Research / Copenhagen Commune

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Reimagining Valby Idraetspark

This was a project in collaboration with the Municipality of Copenhagen. Valby Idraetspark is a recreation area in the outskirts of Copenhagen. The goal of this research project was to identify opportunities for Valby Idraetspark to attract a broader spectrum of users, and improve the experience of the sports clubs currently occupying the park.

Over a two week period, the team focused on understanding the perspectives of non-users through in-depth interviews and over guerilla research at different recreational areas. By using tools such as association cards and importance mapping, the push and pull factors of public areas were unveiled and transformed into key insights and design opportunities.

The team found that the majority of the respondents had either no knowledge about Valby Idraetspark or associated it with the greater area of Valby. The strong communities that exist within each sport club created a barrier that prevented non-members from using the same spaces. The amount of alternative parks didn’t encourage people to get outside of their own neighbourhood and explore the facilities of Valby Idraetspark. Lastly, the spaciousness of Valby Idraetspark also resulted in a lack of ‘hygge’, a feeling of cosiness, that was found in other Danish parks.

The ideation phase resulted in three concepts that focused on creating a positive experience for its visitors. The first concept divides the area in smaller parks with each displaying its own identity through colors and imagery to improve wayfinding. The second concept is a cafe that travels from one area of the park to another, and gives the nearby clubs the opportunity to highlight their identity through a customized menu. The last concept unites the sportive function of Valby Idraetspark with a touch of culture through an event schedule that encourages collaboration between Valby Idraetspark and the local Valby neighborhood.

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Result

These concepts were presented to the Municipality and provide the first step in their effort to enhance the user experience at Valby Idraetspark, and are currently being reviewed for implementation.