Nick Wates trained at the Bartlett School at University College London in the 1970s when there was unbounded optimism that architecture students would be able to help make the world a better place during their lifetime. It only recently dawned on him that his generation is shortly going to die having achieved very little due to the disastrous state of our democracy and governance structures.

He spent almost half a century as a practitioner and author focusing on developing and disseminating good practice on community engagement in placemaking (see Nick's article Learning from the Streets).

Since securing a PhD from the University of Brighton at the age of 69 he describes himself as semi retired. This means that he still works most of the time but only on things that really need doing and are enjoyable.

His current focus is on making available anything of his generation’s experience likely to be of use to future generations. This involves several website and book projects including developing a succession strategy for He believes engaging people in planning will be an essential component in last ditch attempts to stop climate change from extinguishing human civilisation and, if these fail as seems probable, making the extinguishing as painless as possible.

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Nick Wates in action