The best way to make places is to bring everyone involved in the process together. Everybody pitches in their view at the outset, and the brief for the rest of the process is on a clear track. The best briefs are the ones that consider how the place will work economically, socially and physically. They nail down the ‘must do’ issues, and create the flexibility needed to invite a creative approach to finding solutions.
Placemaking involves more than designers. It involves service providers, educationalists, health professionals, emergency services, entrepreneurs and economic development professionals. It involves planners, communities and investors. Design is a good way of pulling the strands together.
The aim of this year’s Design Skills Symposium is to create an opportunity for the different people involved in making places to support people’s lives to come together, share views about what matters and work together in a practical way. The process is about collectively discussing and defining the challenges to be dealt with to support better lives. It’s about looking at how to make the best use of resources spatially to deliver solutions to meet the challenge. It is about learning to influence each other, and influence others in the decisions we make about the work we do to make better places.
Delivering Better Places is about negotiating and influencing. It is about informed decisionmaking. It is not always easy. To support the process, and to support each other, we invite you to share your thoughts about the learning outcomes from the event: what are the tangible skills that you are looking for, and how can we support you in applying them after the event. We’d be delighted to hear from you. Our proposal is to structure the Symposium around 3 broad outcomes:
Building knowledge on current practice in a range of areas related to creating better places for people. These include local economics, health and service delivery, education, development economics, sustainability, streets and urban form.
Developing practical skills in negotiating and influencing thinking on the benefits of a place approach to pulling the various issues and agendas affecting the making of better places together; developing practical skills in making propositions and presenting arguments graphically, by design
Building the support network to enable delegates to apply the skills learned in practice, and to follow up on achievements and challenges through a series of online fora, seminars and web resources.
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