The Lambeth Parks Challenge is a website commissioned by Lambeth Council, that aims to get people engaged in the budget cuts faced by their local parks.
The user is guided through the variable costs of building and maintaining a public park, allowing them to create their own virtual park by choosing where to spend the available budget, using drag & drop menu items, a simple slider and a budget monitor.
As a freelancing illustrator/animator for digital design agency White October, I got involved early on in the project. In meetings with the designer, developer and project manager we discussed the possible structure, look and feel of the app; how to make a strict council budget comprehensible and engage the user to make budget decisions based on what services they would like their local parks to provide.
We decided that an aerial view and isometric illustration style would work best for the playful app, linking it to easy-to-use computer games visuals, as well as keeping it practical in terms of web development.
Lambeth Council provided us with a list of capital options, such as cafe, sports facilities and planting, as well as maintenance sections, such as waste and staff, which are crucial in building and maintaining a public park. To show the impact that both poor and great maintenance can have on a park, I illustrated some of the assets in different states, e.g. flowers dry or in full bloom, bins empty or overflowing. Once these assets were illustrated, we added a few nice-to-haves to make the park more engaging, which included animated sprites of people and animals in the park.
The Lambeth Parks Challenge was commissioned based on the success of the Lambeth Library Challenge, an app developed to engage people with the budgets of their local libraries. more info