‘Written in community’ – the story of Incredible Edible

There’s a convention at book launches that the author signs copies bought by the guests. Something strange happened to that convention on Saturday at the launch of the story of Incredible Edible Todmorden. Guests started asking for signatures not only from the authors, but from others who’d appeared in the book – friends and co-workers […]

New book tells the story of Yorkshire’s food revolution

The story of the Incredible Edible movement that begun in Todmorden and has now spread across the world is to be told in a new book by Urban Pollinators writer Joanna Dobson. What began with ‘propaganda planting’ in cemeteries and on station platforms in a former mill town has now become a global network of […]

Why local works: the story of Giroscope

On the front page of Giroscope’s website is a three point pledge to its tenants. It sounds like the sort of thing some big, commercially minded landlords would do, but the content of this small Hull charity’s promise is rather different: • So long as the conditions of the tenancy are met, you have the right […]

The Portas Review, one year on

To mark the first anniversary of the publication of the Portas Review, AMT and Urban Pollinators have brought together a range of collaborators to reflect on town centre progress and problems. High streets and town centres remain firmly on the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments’ agendas. It’s encouraging that so much local action is taking place and […]

Can social landlords be agents of local economic change?

A few years ago the Joseph Rowntree Foundation produced a report entitled Person or place-based policies to tackle disadvantage? Not knowing what works. The title was a fitting, if depressing, summary of more than two decades of research and practice. The current government has decided that the answer to this conundrum is to stop looking […]

Introducing the Canning Town Caravanserai

A guest blog from the Caravanserai team Traditional Caravanserais were vital, busy compounds along the Silk Road, places with some greenery, water and shelter, to take a break from traveling. Once rested, people of different backgrounds, nationalities and races would exchange goods and stories. They were cities in miniature, bustling with trade & activity, vibrant […]

A warm welcome for the Portas Review

The producers of the ‘21st Century Agora’ white paper warmly welcome the Mary Portas review of the high street as a real opportunity to inject new thinking into our struggling town centres and create places where people can thrive and flourish. Our input into the review was described by Mary Portas as ‘inspirational and invaluable’ […]

Let’s hear it for the Queen of Shops

On a sleety December day in Wakefield or Wigan, Weston-super-Mare or Wisbech, a walk down the high street amid hard-up Christmas shoppers is a long way from most people’s idea of a good time. Today Mary Portas, TV’s Queen of Shops and the retail guru appointed by David Cameron to revive our high streets, is […]

Inspiration of the week: Todmorden’s edible green route

How do you bring a town together when there’s a busy main road running through the middle, and many of the people who live there work somewhere else? For three years Incredible Edible Todmorden has been changing the look and reputation of a small market town by planting fruit and vegetables in public spaces, from […]

Seven steps from ghost town to host town

Last month another city fell victim to the credit crunch as the £300m Summer Row shopping development in Wolverhampton was axed. But was it really such bad news? It might just be that Wolverhampton has been saved from one of the last of the dinosaurs. According to its promoters, Summer Row was going to bring […]