Civic Revival is delighted to team up with Frances Northrop of the New Economics Foundation for Part 3 of our ‘Five Steps Forward for the Civic Revival' online discussion series:

Town & city centres, masterplanning & the ‘big property’ dinosaurs

Thursday 17 December 2020, 6.00 - 7.30pm, including Christmas drinks (BYO!) and informal discussion.

You are invited to attend: register for your free place on Eventbrite here

We all know that 2020 has ended the era of ‘clone town’ retail in Britain’s town and city centres. But are we asking the right questions to understand how to get the next era right?

This discussion forum will examine what happens to our city centres during the boom then the bust phases of the commercial property cycle, how places might prepare for the post-Covid commercial property crash that appears inevitable in 2021, and whether any civic revival positives can be salvaged from the wreckage.

We’ll be seeking to understand the purpose of major regeneration masterplans, development deals between developers and councils, the role of planners and other professionals, and asking awkward questions about who benefits and whether the system delivers for places and their communities even at the best of times.

We’ll be looking at lessons from heavily contested schemes in boomtown London, in order to better understand the system, and asking how the government’s proposed planning reforms may change things.  But we’ll not only be looking at London.  We’ll examine case studies of how the system operates in regional towns and cities where the need for an economic boost is great, and whether it can deliver civic revival.  If it can’t, what other models are possible or realistic?

'Five Steps Forward for the Civic Revival' is five linked exploratory forums taking place monthly from October 2020 to February 2021, each looking at a key dimension in the civic, municipalist and local democratic empowerment landscape. They will contribute to the publication of a ‘Civic Revival manifesto’ or position paper in March 2021, ahead of the May 2021 local elections.