Recent presentations

Here you’ll find a selection of recent presentations from events and workshops, which help to illustrate our expertise and approach.


The people-centred city 

How architects and planners can create cities fit for the future – by changing the way they view their role.


From Main Street to Our Street 

Why the solution to thriving town centres is to give control back to the people they serve.


Regeneration with a human face 

Why the ‘workers or shirkers’ debate needs to give way to relational approaches to welfare reform and neighbourhood renewal.


From ‘me’ towns to ‘we’ towns 

How the UK’s small towns are leading the way from ‘me’ to ‘we’ – changing from towns that focus on consumption to towns that focus on citizenship.


Breathing life back into our cities 

These slides were prepared for the State of the City event in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in October 2012. They examine why we need to rethink urban policy in general, and city centres in particular, in the light of the challenges and opportunities we now face.


Urbanism for everyone 

Are we creating cities for people – or just for professionals who think they know what people want? These slides look at how we can start developing an urbanism for everyone.


Forces for good: local benefits from surplus military land 

An introduction to our research for the Bill Sargent Trust, showing how the release of former military land could create benefits for local residents as well as ex-service personnel.


20 things you could do in the high street without shopping 

Turning high streets and town centres into social spaces can feel like swimming against the tide. Here are 20 ideas, based on things that are already happening, that could start a process of change.


The high street: ten questions every town team should ask

Mary Portas’s review of the high street recommended ‘town teams’ to bring stakeholders together to revitalise Britain’s town centres. Here are ten questions every town team should ask to make sure they understand the bigger picture.


Regeneration in a cold climate: from policy change to behaviour change

What happens to regeneration when the money runs out? This presentation argues that we need to start by examining ideas of coproduction – where members of the public work alongside the ‘professionals’ – and small interventions that make a big difference.


The high street: a stage for global crisis or a workshop for reconstruction?

As consumer spending shrinks and the way we shop changes, is the death of the high street an inevitable reflection of global crisis? Or do we now a chance to refashion the high street as a 21st century agora – a place for ideas, learning, leisure and civic involvement that will generate new markets?


Six signposts to JFDI urbanism

In the absence of big government regeneration programmes, how should we go about creating great places? This presentation points to some elements of a JFDI approach to placemaking – just have fun and do it.


The Big Society – what would Shakespeare say?

An attempt to get to grips with some of the main ideas of the ‘big society’ with a little help from the Bard. Would he come to the conclusion that really, it’s Our Society and we need to decide what to do with it?


A future for heritage assets

This presentation was prepared for an event organised by Urban Vision North Staffordshire. It questions whether models of heritage-based regeneration developed over recent decades are still viable in current circumstances and offers some suggestions for the future.


Can a big society be a fair society?

One of the central debates about the coalition government’s ‘big society’ ideas is how they fit with principles of equality and social justice. This presentation explores some of the core concepts and examines the critiques levelled against them and the opportunities that may be grasped.


A future for regeneration

Does regeneration in the UK have a future? This slideshow draws on lessons learned over more than a decade and on a series of articles written by Julian Dobson for New Start magazine during 2010 to set out the challenges ahead and ways of thinking we should adopt in the years to come.


Eight questions to ask about places

How can we tell whether a place is ‘great’ or not? What are the signs of a place that works well? This presentation, introducing the idea of placemaking for Bradford Council’s Regeneration Academy, identifies the key questions placemakers need to ask.