Alice in wonderland

Posted Posted in Essays, News

The death has just been announced of Professor Alice Coleman whose controversial 1985 study, Utopia on Trial, infuriated the architectural establishment and helped change housing policy in the 1980s. Many, though not all, of her findings have correlated with many subsequent studies of relationships between urban morphology and design with wellbeing and prosperity. In 2014 […]

What does the Levelling Up White Paper mean for community leadership and local place-making?

Posted Posted in Essays

After all the hot take in the first 24 hours, here’s a more considered take from Toby Lloyd, the Chair of the Create Streets Foundation’s No Place Left Behind Commission.” The sceptical take on last week’s long awaited Levelling Up White Paper it is that it’s largely a rehash of existing policies and initiatives, loosely bound […]

The Sack of Bristol

Posted Posted in Essays

Bristol’s former mayor and former RIBA President, George Ferguson, asks if Bristol is returning to the age of destructive planning. Bristol’s history, special character and environment are under assault from more damaging development than we have experienced in the past 50 years, but we are in danger of sleep walking through it. Soon after I […]

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away: what does Star Wars tell us about architecture for goodies and baddies?

Posted Posted in Essays

Do filmmakers and set designers understand architecture better than architects? My study of the 11 Star Wars films released over 44 years suggests that they do. I examined 12 Star Wars locations (some cities, some villages, some spaceships, some individual buildings). I categorised them as either: ‘Good.’ The home of innocents, harmless but kind planet-dwellers, […]

How to love the NIMBY and build more homes

Posted Posted in Essays, Streets

Create Streets Head of Research Ben Southwood explains why street votes goes with the grain of British care for place and neighbourhood. Place is emotional and rightly so. Britons are conservative about their neighbourhoods. They take pride in them. They wish them to remain green and pleasant. Many planning reformers have failed because they misunderstood […]