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Autumn forum: City regeneration and place-making

Our autumn forum on October 10 will look at creative place-making in towns and cities: where do we build homes and what type of environment do city dwellers want to live in, where do we want to work and how do we want to connect in our communities?

Ancient Greeks were mindful to create places called the 'agora' or 'marketplace' where citizens could meet. As a reaction to the 1960s desire for out of town university research campuses and shopping centres, contemporary planners are turning their attention to new types of urban work/live hubs for socialising and exchange of ideas.

This event follows our July forum at White City Place which started the discussion of this important topic and will expand on these themes in more detail.

London's first walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, has just unveiled the capital's Walking Action Plan with an emphasis on creating attractive streets and open spaces to encourage exercise and a healthier population.

Thamesmead is now being re-developed with the outside spaces in mind not only to create exercise space but as a drive to cut crime and build better community. Originally the design of the estate in the later 1950s, took no notice of the riverside landscape in which it was set. Waterfront living, experts tell us is good for our health and dockyards around the UK are being re-purposed to take account of this as well as to re-focus on our important maritime and trading heritage.

The role of railway lines and stations will feature at the forum because of the importance for joined up housing and infrastructure, along with how our retail can develop at these important junctions and termini. Retail is becoming essential to station development and for the Japanese this has spurred the idea of creating 'my third place' between home and 'somewhere public'.

We will be asking whether 'culture' can be created from scratch in order to give places definition and what are the ingredients for this to ensure sustainability? How do we ensure that a distinctive and positive culture will develop in new towns and cities, particularly across regional housing strategies such as the Camkox corridor and around airports?

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