Community Planning: Methods
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Activity weeks are a way of focusing energy and attention on the local environment and initiatives to improve it. They are particularly effective if they become an annual event and even more so if part of a national programme.

A programme of events and activities is produced on a suitable theme. One week is a good length for making an impact but it can be longer or shorter.

Organisations and individuals are invited to organise activities and events during the week and have them advertised in the programme.

The programme is promoted by a coordinating body which may be a partnership, preferably including local media.
Hastings, UK, 1990, Nick Wates.
public focus

Public focus
Local newspaper promotes an 'Environment Week' programme. Other common themes are 'Architecture Week', 'Urban Design Week', 'Preservation Week'.

  • Organising a first activity week will take a lot of effort. Once established as an annual event, they become relatively easy to organise as participating organisations know what is expected of them. The main coordinating task then involves compiling the programme.

  • Make sure the programme is produced well in advance and widely publicised. Get it printed in the local paper in full, preferably as a pull-out.

  • It helps if national organisations can provide an overall framework and get local organisations to co-ordinate local programmes.

  • If you have an event longer than a week (one month, one year), make sure you have the stamina to maintain the momentum
  • Core costs: printing programme, co-ordination (several person weeks) launch event.
  • Costs of individual activities should be covered by participating organisations.
  • Plenty of scope for securing sponsorship.
Sample programme format

sample programme
sample programme reverse

Key ingredients: Theme; dates; timetable of activities; map with location of activities; credits; further info contact. A way of suggesting ideas for next year’s programme could also be added.
Activity week activities checklist
  • Award ceremony
    For most imaginative local project, group or individual.
  • Competition
    For best kept gardens or shopfronts, best improvement ideas, best kids' drawings, etc.
  • Exhibition
    Exhibitions on week theme by local businesses, voluntary groups, artists, etc.
  • Guided tour
    Around area of interest. Or for birdwatching, looking at wild flowers, etc.
  • Launch reception
    Pre-week gathering for organisers, exhibitors, sponsors, the media, etc.
  • Lecture or film show
    On subject of interest.
  • Litter-pick
    Help clear up an eyesore. Bags provided.
  • Open day
    For projects, organisations, professional offices, etc.
  • Open building or garden
    See round fine local buildings or gardens.
  • Opening ceremony
    Formal event for press, dignatories, etc.
  • Party
    End of week celebration for organisers, etc.
  • Project opening or launch
    Unveil a plaque for a recently completed project or launch a new initiative.
  • Public meeting
    On a theme of current interest, inaugural meeting of new group, new initiative, etc.
  • Reception or ‘coffee morning’
    Refreshments with a relevant theme.
  • Self build project
    Create a garden, build a play structure, dig a ditch, paint a mural, clear a pond, etc.
  • Street party
    Clear out the cars for an evening.
  • Workshop, Forum, Symposium, Debate
    On relevant subjects.

    Plus normal festival activities: facepainting, music, dancing, juggling, theatre, poetry readings, sculptures, races, and lots more.
Interesting fact
    Over half a million pieces of publicity were printed by the
    Civic Trust for ‘Environment Week 1991’ which included 350,000 leaflets, 50,000 ideas for action booklets, 250,000 badges, 40,000 window stickers, 65,000 posters, 500 balloons and 100 banners. Over 3,000 events were held throughout the UK. Interviews were screened on 13 national TV programmes and at least 2,200 items published in newspapers.


Last updated on: 8 August 2008