Dr Paul O’Hare, a Fellow of the Institute of Place Management, is a Lecturer in Geography and Development at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has conducted research on the theme of resilience for almost ten years across a number of funded research projects. This has included work to develop the use of adaptive technologies for flood risk management, and efforts to use urban design to secure crowded public spaces from terrorist attacks.
He recently completed a UK Government (Defra) funded project that examined the development of surveying for property level protection from flooding (Surveying for Flood Resilience in Individual Properties). His current research examines: the contribution that civil society and citizens can make to risk management; insurance, flood vulnerability and maladaptation; and contested expertise in risk governance. From a practical perspective, he currently works with flood-affected localities to identify ways to help communities become more resilient to future flooding.
In the past he has launched guidance documents for citizens and stakeholders hoping to utilise property level protection (www.smartfloodprotection.com ), and has advised local and national government on the complexities of contemporary risk management. He is a member of several professional/ academic networks and regularly contributes to research and seminars uniting academics, practitioners, policy makers and NGOs. Continue reading “Meet the IPM: Interview with Dr Paul O’Hare”→
Jess Edwards, Fellow of the Institute of Place Management, is Head of the Department of English at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research, since his Phd in the 1990s, has consistently focused on the literary aspects of geography and the geographic aspects of literature. Until 2014 his publications dealt with seventeenth and eighteenth century geographic culture, but recently he has begun a project exploring the place of literature, culture and public participation in landscape policy and strategy. Edwards is part of a local research group of creative writers and critics at Manchester Met with an interest in place, which supports an MA course route in Place Writing and a growing number of Postgraduate Research students in the area. Continue reading “Meet the IPM: Interview with Dr Jess Edwards”→
Place is an important category in the construction of our individual and social identities. We develop a sense of place both by projecting ourselves onto places and identifying with them in myriad ways. We may, for example, use place names to identify ourselves (“I live in Berlin”, “I am from Greece”); we may be more or less attached to particular places, as they become markers of who we are (“I am a new Berliner”).
By Place, I do not only mean the “bricks and mortar” of a locality, but rather the interaction between the physicality and the social relations that come together in a particular locus. Place attachment then is with people and their cultures, with their food, language and behaviour – as much as with public spaces, landscapes or buildings. It is easier to feel responsible for a place we are attached to, rather than for places we just pass through in the course of our lives. Tourists often behave differently at home than when they travel, although place attachment and responsibility may not be the only reason behind it (throwing away behavioural norms as part of the travel experience or the relative anonymity and lack of social control may be other explanations).
“It is easier to feel responsible for a place we are attached to, rather than for places we just pass through in the course of our lives.”
In a world where many people (though by no means all) move constantly, is there still such a thing as place responsibility and indeed the space for place-based politics? Or as Doreen Massey put it back in 1991, is there a “global sense of place”? Continue reading “An Itinerant Sense of Place”→
This month our new Innovate project started. The project will bring big data to town and city centre decision makers, enabling them to optimise footfall whilst also improving the experience of centre users. The first stage of the project (running from now until Spring 2017) is very research focused. Because we have over 9 years of hourly footfall data, courtesy of the project lead Springboard, the research team at the Institute of Place Management (Manchester Metropolitan University) and the University of Cardiff can really start to work out how and why town and city centres perform as they do. Our findings will then be incorporated into a place management information system and a serious of dashboard products, built by our technology partners MyKnowledgeMap.
On the 4th July 2016 I was invited to take part in the inaugural Oxfordshire High Streets Conference. I am saying inaugural as the delegates found the day very useful so we hope there will be another one! As a place management scholar, there is nothing better than sharing place insight and debating its relevance, in a local context. As a researcher, I get to know a lot about problems and I get to know my data intimately. But, my work tends to be read by academics and other people who also focus on the data/problem side of things. This means I don’t always connect with the people who want to put our research findings into practice. To get the opportunity to present our research on footfall signatures at the event was especially rewarding. Having the chance to hear directly from representatives of towns that feel their centre’s profile is changing from one of comparison shopping to one that is more focused on community retail and services, for example, was really useful. I got a chance to take part in the important debate about what this change means ‘on the ground’, in terms of managing the offer, attracting the right type of businesses, changing opening hours and communicating all these changes in the community. Continue reading “Working together for stronger towns”→
Dr Steve Millington is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is co-editor ofSpaces of Vernacular Creativity: Rethinking the Cultural Economy and Cosmopolitan Urbanism. Steve’s research focuses on ordinary and everyday place making, drawing on empirical work concerning the habitual and routine practices of football fans, household Christmas light displays and light festivals such as Blackpool Illuminations. This research reveals contestations regarding class, taste and aesthetics, to challenge how creativity is deployed as a mechanism for revitalising declining communities and considers alternative approaches to cultural policy. Steve is also a director of the Institute of Place Management, working directly with town and cities to help transform communities into sustainable and liveable places. He has recently completed an ESRC project, High Street UK2020, involving 10 local centres across the UK, and is about to start a Technology Strategy Board project involving retailers, the property industry, local authorities, and trade associations, to enable these practitioners to make individual and collective decisions designed to optimise stakeholder performance and customer experience in retail centres. Continue reading “Meet the IPM: Interview with Dr Steve Millington”→
Professor Dominic Medway is an international authority on place marketing and management based with the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Academic Editor of the Journal of Place Management and Development.
His recent research has addressed issues such as stakeholder interaction in urban place partnerships, how litter affects people’s perceptions of space, and the potential role of smell in the marketing of places. You can follow his developments on twitter @dominic_medway, and read about his latest research on the IPM website at: http://www.placemanagement.org/latest-publications/