• Learning from community open spaces: Spaces by Design with Wandle Housing Association tenants and staff

    Designing and managing public space is complex work, and often spaces are established or improved, only to find that after a while they aren’t successful. Earlier this year we explored the challenges and opportunities around public and communal spaces in a Spaces by Design course with Wandle Housing Association residents and staff in South London. […]

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  • Visioning Sustainable Places during Green Sky Thinking week

    As part of Open City’s ‘Green Sky Thinking’ week (15-19 April), we ran a breakfast workshop ‘People, Place and Value: Visioning Sustainable Places’ at the distinctive 3 Space Hub, at Victoria Embankment in Blackfriars.  ‘Mapping Sustainable London’ was the theme for Green Sky Thinking 2013 and our workshop explored how we can collaborate to develop […]

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  • New life in Fountainbridge

    Earlier in November we supported a fantastic group who have come together to create a vision to breathe new life into Fountainbridge, a canalside area near the centre of Edinburgh with a rich industrial history. The Glass-House ran a one-day workshop for the Fountainbridge Canalside Initiative, a group made up of local residents and organisations […]

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  • Enabler Voices: ‘What value do local people bring to placemaking?’

    By Richard Crutchley, Glass-House Enabler Google ‘Andover Estate’ and you’ll find a relentless list of negative outpourings about this sprawling but dense Council estate north of the Seven Sisters Road – police, assaults, witnesses, drugs, gangs, fear, murder.  You might find that Ann Widdecombe spent a night or two on the estate in 2006 and […]

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  • 'People' vision

    Build Your Neighbourhood: how people, place and value interact

    “The essence of good places comes out in what we do.” – Meredith Evans, formerly Corporate Director, Telford and Wrekin Council   The recent National Conference on Urban Design (18-20 October 2012) was run by the Urban Design Group and Oxford Brookes University.  The conference attendees were a mix of Built Environment Practitioners, Developers, House-builders, […]

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  • What would a sustainable city look like?

    Green Sky Thinking Week held from 17-21 September was set up by Open City to highlight green expertise in the built environment and encourage deeper collaboration for sustainable development between industry sectors. The theme for 2012 was ‘Mapping Sustainable London’ which sought to highlight and unpack best practice and thinking in how a sustainable city […]

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  • A crisis in housing and transport: what about placemaking?

    Two news items caught my eye yesterday.  One was the much commented on statement of Housing Minister Grant Shapps, that it is “blindingly obvious” that social housing in expensive places should be sold to fund house building in areas that are cheaper. The second was that train fares are “forcing commuters off trains and on […]

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  • Marple Wharf – revitalising the waterfront

    Over the past few months we’ve supported the Marple Civic Society and Marple Vision Partnership to develop their plans to bring historic Marple Wharf back into community use. Building on their work to create a vision for the town, the group wanted to draw on local knowledge to inform the future of the wharf and approached […]

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  • Training for Housing Association Design Review Panels

    We were recently commissioned by First Wessex Housing Association in Southampton to deliver a two-day training course for members of three design review panels. Some of the group (a mixture of staff and residents) had just joined the panels and others had been involved for years.  I worked closely with our Glass-House Enabler Matt Lally […]

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  • Neighbourhoods by Design: Designing change

    Neighbourhoods by Design, one of our longest-running design training courses, has undergone a re-vamp of late. The Design Training course is a whistle-stop introduction to urban design and gives participants the chance to develop their community neighbourhood project. Despite the name, urban design applies to anywhere people live, including urban, suburban, town and rural settings […]

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