Stadium-led regeneration of cities


Future Cities Forum ran a fascinating panel last week on the regeneration challenges faced by the owners of leading football, cricket and rugby clubs, their property and design advisers and their city authorities. Please read below and listen to the panel's experiences of working across local communities, in inner city, outer city and heritage settings on the full audio recording.

Paula Carney of WYG, who worked on the planning for Wembley Park from 2002, said: 'The fundamentals of stadium-led regeneration are about place-making but they are challenging. It's not about people turning up once every two weeks for match. There are huge revenue streams that need to be developed so this needs thinking, imagination and careful planning. The old Wembley stadium, surrounded by a swathe of parking spaces, had nowhere to eat or drink and was not producing money for the Borough of Brent, for local businesses or creating community. The redevelopment has provided housing and more life around the stadium with three hotels, new residential and office space, community and cultural events. Quintain orientated the new Wembley arena towards a public plaza.

When questioned about attracting more women to watch sport, and how this can be incorporated into planning and design, Paula said that when the London Designer Outlet at Wembley was marketed it was to younger women of different ethnicities. Paula said in her interview after the event how planning teams must become more diverse:

Bath Rugby has the particular challenges of development on a UNESCO World Heritage site, but shares many of the themes facing inner city sports clubs. Chief Executive Tarquin McDonald said: "We started (for our new stadium plan) not just with a vision but with a purpose. We want to create a space for everyone, and to bring the riverside public spaces and connection to life. I was interested in the future high streets discussion today because many of those themes are relevant to us - if the relationship with a place is transactional, d