Taking evidence-based policy seriously

Evidence-based policy

by Prof Ares Kalandides

Evidence-based policy‘ has been a catchword in politics for some time now. It was allegedly coined by the Blair government, which aimed to design policy driven less by ideology and more by scientific evidence. Two decades later the term is still going strong, with calls for ‘evidence-based’ policy being the norm rather than the exception. However, both the terms ‘evidence’ and ‘scientific’ need some clarification when we’re talking about the social sciences, if we want to take evidence-based urban policy seriously. Continue reading “Taking evidence-based policy seriously”

Rethinking Citizen Participation in Urban Development. Part 1: A theoretical framework

Protests in Berlin. 24 March 1981 (Photo: Michael Kipp/Umbruch Bildarchiv.

by Prof Ares Kalandides

A discussion about citizen participation is nothing less than a discussion about democracy. Whatever we do, no matter how closely we try to focus and frame the issue, we come back to our basic understanding of democracy: What are the mechanisms through which citizens shape political decisions that concern them?

In a recent article for the special issue of the Journal of Place Management and Development (Vol 11 Issue 2) on Participatory Placemaking, (you can access the article for free here) I have proposed various approaches to citizen participation in urban development, taking Berlin as a case study: participation as an institutional arrangement; participation as rights; participation in the public sphere and participation as practice:  Continue reading “Rethinking Citizen Participation in Urban Development. Part 1: A theoretical framework”

Studying linear, watery places: canals in the UK

by Maarja Kaaristo

There is a network of over 4000 miles of inland waterways in the United Kingdom, consisting of a number of  tidal and non-tidal rivers, canals, lakes and estuaries, some navigable for vessels of different size, some non-navigable, minor, (almost) forgotten. Of these, canals represent a fascinating result of human fluvial modification of the landscape and the creation of new, socio-natural hydro-landscapes. In this post, I will discuss how canals have been going through substantial and dynamic transformation throughout their existence, where various aspects, such as transportation, dereliction, dwelling or leisure have been in the foreground at different times. Continue reading “Studying linear, watery places: canals in the UK”

CALL FOR PAPERS: 6th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places

Photographer – Ian Southerin

Corfu, Greece 6th – 9th May 2019

Connecting places

Places are connected to each other, either geographically, technologically, socially or politically. Places also connect people to each other and to other places. Places are formed and managed through both real and virtual partnerships and networks. The theme of the 6th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places is to explore these connections between places and the people who use and inhabit them. Submissions of 1000 word abstracts to the Symposium are welcome on issues including, but not limited to:

  • Real and virtual partnerships, networks and connections within places and between places
  • Grass-roots participatory place making initiatives
  • Smart places and virtual worlds
  • City (and other) regions, and supra-national networks
  • Physical or virtual places that connect people to each other
  • Individual places that are connected to each other geographically, technologically, socially, or politically
  • Places that are connected to art, literature, popular media, culture and heritage, or that are connected to particular industries, geographies, topographies, or activities
  • Places that have consciously, deliberately, or inadvertently disconnected from others
  • Places that have consciously, deliberately, or inadvertently disconnected from former or historical place narratives

Continue reading “CALL FOR PAPERS: 6th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places”

Participatory placemaking: concepts, methods and practices

Rethinking place atmospheres: Manchester City Football Club project

Photo source: www.thedrum.com

By Gareth Roberts, Chloe Steadman, Dominic Medway and Steve Millington (Institute of Place Management)

Football stadia as places

When we consider place management in all its incarnations and guises, and the many different types of places that this practice and associated actions can be applied to, the football stadium (and its immediate surrounding environs) is not likely to be amongst the first examples that spring to mind. However, the football stadium is clearly a place, and a place that hosts tens of thousands of visitors on a weekly basis. Therefore, ensuring that it best meets the needs of these people, and provides an environment conducive to a positive experience, is just as important as for towns, cities, or indeed any other place.

The problem with atmosphere Continue reading “Rethinking place atmospheres: Manchester City Football Club project”

Co-ordinated response to retail challenges in Dutch cities

de Jongens, Hoogeveen, changing the image of menswear

By Prof Simon Quin

Last week in The Netherlands, some 250 place management practitioners and policy makers from across Europe gathered to discuss the future of retail in medium size city centres. In a snap survey of the audience, over half said the retail sector in their town was “troublesome” whilst just 12% described it as “booming”. It is in The Netherlands, however, that some interesting responses are happening.

The event heard from Mona Keijzer, State Secretary of Economic Affairs in The Netherlands, who noted that they have a national retail strategy, the only country in the EU that does so. It also heard from Henk Brink, from the province of Drenthe on how the province is allocating one third of funding to match spending by local authorities and private sector investment to revitalise town and city centres.

Continue reading “Co-ordinated response to retail challenges in Dutch cities”

And while more people have come, they haven’t displaced the homeless

by Vinita Goyal,

An ad-hoc homeless shelter emerged in central Manchester last year when people squatted for several days at the disused Cornerhouse cinema bringing attention to the plight of the homeless and lack of affordable housing in this severely austere climate, alas with no conspicuous societal change. Homeless continue to struggle with hardships amidst boundless apathy in Manchester and almost everywhere else in the world.

A reflection on a Seattle case-study changes the status quo for the homeless in this Pacific North-West American city even if by an iota. What is happening there? What can be learned and replicated elsewhere and replicated at scale? Continue reading “And while more people have come, they haven’t displaced the homeless”

JPMD Open Acces: Guest Editorial High Street UK 2020

High Street UK

Journal of Place Management and Development, Volume 10, Issue 4 is an open access special issue on the High Street UK 2020 project of the IPM. 

by Ojay McDonald* and Kim Cassidy**

So much commentary surrounding the economic fortunes of town and city centres in the UK in recent years alludes to a “before” and “after”, sometimes implicitly, sometimes explicitly. The “before”? Well, that usually refers to a pre-2008 financial crisis golden age, where town centre retail was in plentiful supply, upward-only rental reviews were commonplace, and the high street was the destination of choice for shoppers. Fast forward to the post-recession era, we entered the age of the “after”, where squeezed household budgets, reduced credit, fuelled a rise in charity shops, cheaper online alternatives, budget retailers and bargain hunting.

The past decade has been a turbulent one for our towns and cities culminating in a vote to leave the EU on the 23 June 2016. Will this vote to redraw the boundaries of a major trading bloc and political union, significantly altering the geopolitical landscape, have such a profound legacy that high streets will be understood in the dichotomy of “pre-Brexit” and “post-Brexit”? Continue reading “JPMD Open Acces: Guest Editorial High Street UK 2020”

DARWIN SHREWSBURY – Personality Association and Place Branding

DARWIN Festival Shrewsburyby Prof. Gary Warnaby,

Recently I gave a public lecture as part of the DARWIN SHREWSBURY Festival, celebrating Charles Darwin, the author of On the Origin of Species, in which he introduced the theory of natural selection, whereby populations evolve over the course of generations. Published in 1859, this book, considered to be a foundation of evolutionary biology, has been voted the most influential academic book in history.

So what is the connection to the town of Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire, in western England? Shrewsbury was Darwin’s birthplace, and he spent his formative years there. The DARWIN SHREWSBURY Festival (see http://www.originalshrewsbury.co.uk/darwin-shrewsbury-festival ) is a two and a half week programme of events celebrating the town’s link to Darwin, aimed at ‘celebrating Shrewsbury as the origin of independent thinking’.  Shamelessly drawing on as many analogies from Darwin’s work as I could manage, my lecture was on ‘The Evolution of Place Branding’.  Humour aside, the fact that this festival was taking place raises some very interesting questions about how places can use associations with their famous sons and daughters for the purposes of marketing and branding. Continue reading “DARWIN SHREWSBURY – Personality Association and Place Branding”