Town Centre Living – ‘A Caring Place’ Advisory Group Workshop Notes – Part 3

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Town Centre Living: We are developing and inviting a conversation on a Caring Place through our social media channels and on this website. What does a caring place look like? How can we use design to help create a caring place? What value does design bring?

As part of this conversation an Advisory Group workshop was held in March 2018 to help explore issues relating to care and place in town centres. The session brought together different disciplines exploring policy, practice and place communities, offering opportunities for sharing and capturing knowledge and potential for developing pilots.

 This three-part summary note aims to capture the key messages coming out of the session, as well as some potential actions that were discussed. The first part discussed what makes a Caring Place; this second part explored issues and opportunities; this final instalment explores potential actions.

What actions can we take away from the workshop?

“re-focus investment from acute to primary care”

Financial investment needs to better share benefits with community. Look at how benefits are realized across the briefing, pre-design design, construction and operation timeframes. Balance return on effort. Enable more prevention and early intervention time and space.

“Build spaces to think differently, test innovative approaches”

Create communication routes from where people already are, at the scouts or care home. Connect baby boomers and millennials to create empowered communities around a shared sense of wellbeing.

Support voluntary organisations. Support social enterprise and local suppliers through infrastructure and service investment. And exploit the opportunity of technology. Shift the default to trust to local to fewer rules.

“Support democratisation of choices”

Creating a ‘hitlist’ of caring place attributes is dangerous. It won’t be the same for different types of people and misses out the personal preferences and nuances that can make a big difference to wellbeing.

So, adopt  ‘incremental radicalism.’ Make some changes, test them. Make the small things count. Build in flexibility and take back the broader perspective on ‘care’. Find examples of places that are caring, good to grow old. Learn what works. And what didn’t. Use the learning.



Town Centre Living: A Caring Place

Town Centre Living: How we can use design to help create a caring place? What value does design bring? Join the conversation!

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