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21st century placemaking: visions, principles and challenges

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How can we conceptualise the city of the future and what makes a place worth living in? This presentation introduces principles of placemaking, examines four case studies and poses some bigger questions.

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21st century placemaking: visions, principles and challenges

  1. 1. 21st century placemaking visions, principles and challenges Julian Dobson, director, Urban Pollinators @juliandobson
  2. 2. ‘CHANGE AND DECAY IN ALL AROUND I SEE...’ DOES REGENERATION HAVE THE CAPACITY TO RESOLVE EXISTENTIAL ANGST?
  3. 3. 1 Brave new world: some visions of placemaking 2 The matrix: placemaking as principles 3 Love’s labours lost? Four case studies 4 All’s well that ends well? Questions and discussion
  4. 4. 1: BRAVE NEW WORLD SOME VISIONS OF THE FUTURE CITY
  5. 5. THE CIVILISED CITY A RETURN TO AN URBAN ‘GOLDEN AGE’?
  6. 6. ‘...the biggest and most cosmopolitan cities, for all their evident disadvantages and obvious problems, have throughout history been the places that ignited the sacred flame of the human intelligence and the human imagination.’ Peter Hall, Cities in Civilization, 1998
  7. 7. THE EXPRESSIVE CITY THE CITY AS A PLATFORM FOR HUMAN PERFORMANCE
  8. 8. ‘It is through the performance of creative acts, in art, in thought, in personal relationships, that the city can be identified as something more than a purely functional organisation of factories and warehouses, barracks, courts, prisons and control centres.’ Lewis Mumford, The City in History, 1961
  9. 9. THE HUMAN-SCALE CITY THE FIGHTBACK AGAINST URBAN PLANNING
  10. 10. ‘One principle emerges ubiquitously... This ubiquitous principle is the need of cities for a most intricate and close-grained diversity of uses that give each other constant mutual support, both economically and socially.’ Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cites, 1961
  11. 11. THE LIFESTYLE CITY THE CITY AS A CREATIVE CHOICE
  12. 12. ‘Access to talented and creative people is to modern business what access to coal and iron once was to steelmaking. It determines where companies will choose to locate and grow, and this in turn changes the way cities must compete.’ Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class, 2002
  13. 13. THE MARKET CITY THE CITY AS ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE
  14. 14. ‘Firms no longer need to locate near raw material sources or markets, but can choose the best location for productivity and dynamism.’ Michael E. Porter, The Competitive Advantage of Nations, 1998
  15. 15. THE CONTESTED CITY THE CITY AS THE SITE OF STRUGGLE
  16. 16. ‘...urban space continues to serve simultaneously as the arena, the medium and the stake of ongoing struggles regarding the future of capitalism.’ Brenner, Marcuse and Mayer (2009) Brenner, N., Marcuse, P. and Mayer, M. (2009). Cities for people, not for profit. City 13 (2-3), pp 176-184.
  17. 17. 2: THE MATRIX IS THERE A FORMULA FOR CREATING GREAT PLACES?
  18. 18. THE EGAN PRINCIPLES A BRIEF CONSENSUS ON PLACEMAKING?
  19. 19. ‘Delivering better communities requires not only the professional skills of planning, architecture and surveying, but also a broad range of generic skills, behaviour and knowledge - such as governance of communities, economic planning for prosperity, communication, risk taking, and above all leadership and partnership working.’ Sir John Egan, Skills for Sustainable Communities, 2004
  20. 20. WELL RUN ‘LOCAL PEOPLE ARE INCLUDED IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS’
  21. 21. WELL CONNECTED ‘THERE ARE FACILITIES TO ENCOURAGE SAFE LOCAL WALKING AND CYCLING’
  22. 22. WELL SERVED ‘HIGH QUALITY SERVICES... ACCESSIBLE TO THE WHOLE COMMUNITY’
  23. 23. ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE ‘ACTIVELY SEEK TO MINIMISE CLIMATE CHANGE... CLEANER, SAFER, GREENER NEIGHBOURHOODS’
  24. 24. FAIR FOR EVERYONE ‘PEOPLE OF ALL AGES, RACES, CULTURES, SEXES AND ABILITIES ARE GIVEN ACCESS TO SERVICES...’
  25. 25. THRIVING ‘LOCAL PEOPLE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE MONEY AND HAVE A GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE’
  26. 26. WELL DESIGNED AND BUILT ‘BUILDINGS ARE ATTRACTIVE, SAFE AND USEFUL TO THE PEOPLE WHO USE THEM...’
  27. 27. ACTIVE, INCLUSIVE AND SAFE ‘A COMMUNITY SPIRIT IS CREATED. PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS WELCOME TO JOIN IN...’
  28. 28. But what happens to the best-laid plans? ‘...a considerable cost difference between the type of scheme that most people with an interest in place would like to see and what those in the industry believe can actually be delivered...’ email from Sheffield council officer, 2014
  29. 29. 3: LOVE’S LABOURS LOST? ABSENT PLANNING, BAD PLANNING OR BAD LUCK... PLACEMAKING IN PRACTICE
  30. 30. CASE STUDY 1: DUDLEY, WEST MIDLANDS THE CURIOUS CASE OF MERRY HILL SHOPPING CENTRE
  31. 31. From industrial giant... ‘...a vast Cyclopean workshop... a standing monument of the enterprise of capital and the skill of labour united’ Description of Round Oak steel works, 1868
  32. 32. ...to Enterprise Zone... ‘The incentives offered, in particular the removal of planning restrictions, were hugely appealing... Why would we go to Dudley town centre when we could get a bigger, quicker return on our investment elsewhere?’ Spokesman for the Richardson brothers (Planning magazine, 2011)
  33. 33. ...and at what cost? An analysis by the Centre for Cities in 2011 put the cost of the 1980s Enterprise Zones at £26,000 of public investment per job.
  34. 34. ...to ‘heart of the community’? ‘We are an active member of the local community and take pride in contributing to many local organisations...’ Westfield Merry Hill website, early 2014
  35. 35. ...or a nifty bit of business? ‘...a rare and attractive opportunity to acquire a further two prime shopping centres in line with our strategy to focus on the UK’s largest and most successful destinations’ intu chief executive David Fischel, after buying Merry Hill for £407.7m in March 2014
  36. 36. CASE STUDY 2: LIVERPOOL WHAT IS ‘SUCCESS’ AND WHO BENEFITS FROM IT?
  37. 37. ‘The Liverpool One Masterplan has single-handedly reversed the fortunes of the city by bringing a new social and economic vibrancy... an entirely revitalised city centre that now connects properly with the Docks.’ Royal Institute of British Architects awards panel Bayley, S. (2010). Liverpool: Shaping the city. London: RIBA Publishing (p86)
  38. 38. Out of 64 cities in 2013, Liverpool ranked: • 55th for population growth • 59th for businesses per head of population • 58th for number of jobseekers claiming benefits (ranked low to high) • 63rd for employment rate Centre for Cities, 2014 Centre for Cities (2014). Cities outlook 2014. www.centreforcities.org
  39. 39. CASE STUDY 3: LONDON’S SOUTH BANK THE PUBLIC REALM, CREATED BY THE PUBLIC
  40. 40. ‘It was about empowerment, about community self-help, about a political ambition to redress a perceived imbalance of opportunity and to promote “another way” of doing things... they proudly displayed a banner across the street proclaiming “There is another way”.’ Ash Amin, 2009 The Social Economy: international perspectives on economic solidarity. 2009, Zed Books
  41. 41. CASE STUDY 4: TODMORDEN RETHINKING SPACE WITH FOOD: INCREDIBLE EDIBLE TODMORDEN
  42. 42. ‘Simply by using this language of food, we have opened up conversations, new ways of looking at space, new ways of working across our communities, new ways of bending existing investment.’ Pam Warhurst, Incredible Edible Todmorden
  43. 43. BUT BEWARE OF EASY ANSWERS...
  44. 44. ‘Plans designed to solve problems either failed to solve them or created problems worse than the problems they had been designed to solve. Some of the problems planners were most anxious to influence - poverty, crime, urban congestion and decay - seemed tenaciously resistant to intervention.’ Donald Schön, The Reflective Practitioner Schön, D. The Reflective Practitioner: how professionals think in action. 1995, Ashgate (chapter 7)
  45. 45. Some bigger questions 1 What is sustainable? What approaches to placemaking are likely to be valid for future generations as well as our own? 2 Who should we listen to? Whose views need to be considered if sustainability is to be at the heart of placemaking? 3 Who benefits? Who is reaping the rewards of investment in our towns and cities, and how will we know?
  46. 46. thank you www.urbanpollinators.co.uk Twitter: @juliandobson

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