This page will host an archive of Julian’s writing and publications and reports we have worked on. At present it is work in progress – there’s more to come. You are welcome to browse and download, but please respect copyright. If you’d like to commission anything from a short feature to a full-length book, please get in touch.


Responsible Recovery. Report for the think tank ResPublica, examining the failure of traditional approaches to local regeneration and arguing for relational approaches to welfare reform and neighbourhood renewal in order to build thriving communities.

Grey places need green spaces. A major report for Groundwork UK, explaining the crisis facing our urban green spaces and options for their future care, drawing on the principles of the historic commons.

Forces for Good. A policy white paper for the Bill Sargent Trust, taking forward ideas from our previous research (see below).

Understanding high street performance. Analysis by Genecon LLP for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Urban Pollinators was part of the team that produced this research as part of the Portas review (see below).

In the public interest? Achieving community benefits from Ministry of Defence land disposals. Original research for the Bill Sargent Trust. Summary also available here.

A future for community forests – A contribution to the debate about the future of England’s woodlands, written for The Mersey Forest and published in January 2011

Seeing the wood for the trees – Why the review of forestry in England is an opportunity to create woodlands that are good for community, commerce and climate. Written for The Mersey Forest, published June 2011.

We can, you can – Lessons from the Renew Northwest exemplar learning programme, 2007 – showing approaches needed to deliver successful regeneration projects

Knowledge transfer – Sharing learning in public organisations: summary of a study by Lyndsay Rashman and Jean Hartley, Warwick Business School – edited and designed by us for Renew Northwest

Growing natural tourism – How environmental tourism can promote local economies and help places adapt to climate change. Research summary for Natural Economy Northwest.

Creative cities – From our archive: the role of creative industries in regeneration. Research summary edited and designed by us for Renew Northwest. Five years on, the messages are still remarkably relevant.

The economic value of good design – Research summary for Places Matter! in 2009, showing how well designed buildings do better in a recession.

Reports, white papers and pamphlets

A lasting legacy: Mab Lane Community Woodland. Assessment of the impact of investment in the community woodland at Mab Lane, Liverpool, for The Mersey Forest, June 2013.

Commissioning for social value. Briefing on the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 for the Housing Quality Network, December 2012.

Townstock 2012 – 80 ideas from 50 towns. Summary of highlights from the Townstock conference in Halifax, November 2012.

Forces for Good. Article on repurposing Ministry of Defence assets with Samer Bagaeen for Town and Country Planning magazine, April 2012.

The 21st century agora: a new and better vision for town centres – We coordinated this collaborative submission to the Mary Portas review of the high street, commissioned by prime minister David Cameron in May 2011.

Twenty-first century town centres – A summary of our proposals for reviving the British high street, focusing on the work of Action for Market Towns.

Incredible Edible Todmorden – pamphlet explaining the impact of a local movement linking community, education and business to address climate change and sustainable food. Text prepared as part of our pro bono work.

Communities and Local Government Select Committee inquiry into regeneration – written evidence submitted to House of Commons select committee, spring 2011, critiquing current government policy and suggesting alternative approaches.

A chance to think differently – a response to the RICS Land and Society Commission, March 2011.

Our Society, our stories – a ‘book in eight minutes’ produced by and for participants in the first Our Society meeting in Leeds, January 2011.

Regeneration Manifesto – principles for the future of regeneration, developed with New Start magazine and leading thinkers and practitioners.

Community assets – a series of summaries of events organised by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to examine the potential for community asset transfer and asset-based development.

1 What can history teach us about community asset ownership?

2 The impact and potential of ‘community right to buy’

3 Scottish community energy and growing projects offer food for thought

4 Community infrastructure– the importance of putting people first in new housing developments

5 Social finance – opportunities and risks

6 Community asset ownership – Progress, diversity and risks?

Community asset ownership – Emerging learning, challenges and questions. A roundup of key themes from the event series.

Great Learning – themes and lessons from masterclasses for staff working in the Leeds-Bradford Corridor, 2008.

Pursuits of Youth – how young people’s energy and involvement can help regenerate communities (Renew Northwest practice paper, 2007).

Ladders to Regeneration – how New East Manchester’s regeneration apprenticeships provided opportunities for local people.

Social Enterprise in Yorkshire and Humber – roundup of winners of the 2007 regional social enterprise awards.


The metropolitan revolution (book review) – People, Place and Policy, November 2016

Ideas for change: A local endowment fund – New Start, May 2013

Television won’t save the high street – but it really doesn’t matter. – Huffington Post, May 2013

John Graves’ Sheffield legacy is a great example of civic responsibility – The Guardian, April 2013

How to… create resilient communities – New Start, April 2013

Tackling poverty requires people-centred action – New Start, March 2013

HMV’s travails show the need for citizens to reclaim town and city space – The Guardian, January 2013

Civic sector 2013: The collaborative local economy – New Start, December 2012

From ‘me’ towns to ‘we’ towns – Huffington Post, November 2012

Let’s build a national grid of community infrastructure – Article for New Start, April 2011

The big society needs a watchdog – but it also needs a guide dog. Article for OPM, April 2011.

Five important tests for the big society’s second year – Article for The Guardian’s voluntary sector network, April 2011.

The north can’t wait until Westminster wakes up. Article for New Start, March 2011.

‘Delivering’ the big society – Article for Res Publica, February 2011.

The big society is a chapter in a bigger story – Article for The Guardian’s voluntary sector network, February 2011.

A year of hard choices – and intelligent debate. Article for New Start, February 2011.

Big Society or Big Chaos? – Article for Outlook, the magazine of Children England, looking at the big society and its likely impact.

Just Julian – a compilation of my editorial comment articles for New Start magazine, 2009.

What happens to the best-laid plans? – A look at Sheffield’s economic masterplan for the journal Local Economy, November 2008.


The high street – from shopping centre to social centre  – Article for Placemaking 2012 magazine, published by RUDI.

Anyone for a bit of urban acupuncture? Article for Green Places magazine, Winter 2011.

Generating community – A chapter from Tessy Britton’s book, Hand Made, exploring new forms of community activity.

Reasons to be Cheerful – a celebration of regeneration projects across the UK, produced in 2008 with colleagues from New Start magazine.

Urban Renaissance, 10 years on – An assessment of the UK’s urban renaissance strategy, including an interview with Professor Anne Power, for Makingreat, Integreat Yorkshire’s magazine, summer 2009

Homegrown success stories – An example of how community organising can work in practice from Longbenton, North Tyneside. From New Start magazine, October 2007.