What Makes a Successful City Region – Panel and Audience Discussion

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In a subsequent session facilitated by Kevin Murray panellists were invited to respond to the presentation and an active audience discussion several ‘Issues and Ideas’ were identified:

Issues
• Political short termism; need political will to buy in to long term vision
• Leadership – cycles (In Europe they tend to be 5 or 7 years; can do a lot in 14 years!)
• Lack of responsibility – commitment to follow through
• Land ownership
• Strategic delivery of infrastructure – currently we have an attitude that protects what exists rather than promoting better
• Effective utilities strategy – co-ordinate in an effective and intelligent way so not competing; achieve synergy of benefits for end user

Ideas
• Integrate planning, architecture and transport
• Strategically plan in more detail
• Work from sound knowledge of place issues – currently too much emphasis on housing units (e.g. as typified through extrapolation of demographics/population projections as a basis for planning)
• Be open to ideas – promote design competitions (which tend to be construction rather than ideas)
• Think, provoke – everyone work together and take risks on paper – a trusting forum to build in creativity openly and transparently
• Get creative ideas – that add value and are human qualities- into the process instead of through ‘stealth’ (e.g. hidden in Bills of Quantities under ‘specialist treatment to shuttering’)

In his summing up Kevin Murray drew out a series of key considerations for strategic planning:

• Work across scale (bottom up’/ top down; small to big / big to small)
• Use of measurement and data to inform spatial thinking
• Test different ideas and provocations (don’t jump to an answer but test ideas)
• Get better at following through into substance of change (not good at this)
• Enlightened and collaborative leadership
• Community engagement – people empowered to reflect and test ideas for the future of the city
• Challenge poverty of imagination – don’t dismiss creative ideas (we have creativity)

Millerhill RERC

Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre (RERC) at Millerhill, Midlothian

Cammo

Masterplan and design code for new housing at Cammo

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