The West of England Combined Authority hosted the region’s first placemaking conference on Tuesday (18 June).
The conference brought together over 120 senior leaders from local and national government, public and private sector to explore the region’s challenges and opportunities for creating high quality new places.
It explored how other regions are addressing the challenges and opportunities of growth and how development is key to meeting wider social outcomes from improving health, reducing social isolation, reducing carbon emissions and enhancing the natural and historic environment.
A panel of experts also discussed what high quality places in our region look and feel like. Andy von Bradsky, head of architecture for the Ministry of Homes, Communities and Local Government, set out the national vision for creating great places to live, with high quality design at their heart. Other speakers included:
- Lyndsey Richards, Head of Planning, Enabling and Design at Homes England
- Paul Monaghan, Design Champion for Liverpool Combined Authority
- Lynda Addison, Chair of Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation Sustainable Transport Panel
At the conference, the West of England Combined Authority announced that it has plans to work with partners on a Placemaking Charter, which will set out quality standards expected in the region, which developers, architects and house builders will be encouraged to sign up to. WECA is also supporting partners to develop a new independent review service to support high quality design, called Design West.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “We were delighted to host the region’s first placemaking conference, kickstarting an important discussion about high quality placemaking to support clean and inclusive growth. While we have a challenge to deliver new homes, transport and infrastructure at scale and pace, we need to ensure that we remain ambitious about the quality of homes and create connected communities.
“Joint working across the West of England is vital. The Combined Authority is working closely with Government to secure investment and support for new homes, great transport links, schools and broadband – to develop communities that are truly great places to live.”
The West of England Placemaking Conference was organised by the West of England Combined Authority in partnership with Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils, the Architecture Centre and Creating Excellence.