Archive news - November 2009
Marcus Grant, Deputy Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre
for Healthy Cities based at the University of the West of England,
will be cycling to Copenhagen for the global climate summit.
Marcus is cycling with Mark Robins, Senior Policy Officer for the RSPB in south west England. Follow their progress on their blog
The role of spatial planning in health is rightly receiving greater attention as the evidence gathers on issues such as obesity, climate change and community resilience. Timed to coincide with the publication of the new report by Michael Marmot on the linkages between physical environment and health, the WHO Collaborating Centre is one of the lead partners for a conference on Health and the Built Environment that will take place at UWE on 22 nd January 2010. The conference promises an exciting programme of keynotes and master classes. Presenters include Wulf Daseking, Director of City Planning in the German eco-city of Freiburg and Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. See further information and booking details at:
Third year Architecture and Planning students’ exhibit work at the Architecture Centre, Bristol 3rd-22nd November
The exhibition entitled 'Elevating Easton: Developing the city through community consultation' is being curated by the 'Love Easton' Urban Design Task Group in collaboration with Masters students from Sheffield University. Work from the third year design studio, led by Dr Rachel Sara will be on show.
So what does a ‘healthy sustainable community’ look like, feel like and how do they develop? A team led by Marcus Grant and Hugh Barton took a group of senior managers from public health, local government and the sustainability sector to learn about exemplary healthy sustainable developments in Freiburg, “The Germany Capital for Environmental Protection”. Commissioned by The Strategic Health Authority, and now in its second year, this intensive 5-day study programme is designed to see how a healthy, sustainable city works in practice, as an inspiration for policy and action in the South West. A report of the study tour, which can be used as a learning resource will be available shortly.
Post graduate students participated in a ‘Question Time’ style event in October chaired by Jim Claydon, former RTPI President – more details at: http://www.bne.uwe.ac.uk/short/newsDisplayPublic.asp?NewsID=1189&rss=True
Castle Park is obviously important to Bristol, yet arguably it has never been as well-used or well-loved by Bristolians as it might. There may be a number of reasons for this. It is surrounded by hostile buildings and roads that turn their back on the park. Its location is not a natural one, but the result of the tragic wartime destruction of the historic centre of Bristol. Moreover, together with Temple Way and Marriott Hotel site, it divides the Old Market area from its historic role as part of the city centre.
Architecture students from UWE Bristol studied the area between St. Nicholas and Old Markets. They developed an urban and landscape strategy that reshaped Castle Park - while maintaining its current level of green space, restored the ‘4 th Quarter' of Bristol's blitzed mediaeval core, provided new settings for St. Peter's and 'Pip 'n' Jay' churches, and reconnected the two markets. Actions included decking over the ring road, prioritising pedestrian traffic, and reusing existing buildings such as the Galleries Car Park.
Within this strategy students then designed buildings and spaces to further Bristol's public life. Projects aimed at human-scaled activities; not just the spectacle that has marked the successive waves of retail development culminating in Cabot's Circus.
Bachelor of Architecture students from last year’s Unit 1 ‘ A Right to Laziness’, directed by Harry Charrington, James Burch and Tom Russell, have been invited to exhibit last year’s work at the Architecture Centre as part of an ongoing discussion about the future of Central Bristol. The show entitled 'From Old Market to St. Nicholas Market: recovering Bristol’s lost quarter', designed and installed by staff and students will run from Tuesday 19 January to Sunday 28 February 2010, with a public debate on Wednesday 3 February.
Students and staff have been digging and delving into the dimensions of isolation.
Staff in UWE's Department of Planning & Architecture are on a quest to enrich the student experience on distance learning programmes. Students have talked about aspects of isolation in their studies and creating a virtual student community to overcome this is one idea being investigated.
The CEBE funded work initially involved in-depth telephone interviews with distance learning students. Almost all wanted to enrich their learning experience through more contact with staff and students. But what form should this take? And what are the key components of isolated learning to be addressed? The subsequent sandpit event marked a turning point in the research, with the team delving deeper into potential solutions.
The hour long creative participatory workshop involved a mix of staff and students from across the Faculty exploring isolation in the context of distance learning. Five 'axes of isolation' were each explored by groups of four participants: geographical (distance); chronological (time delay); communication (alternatives to face-to-face contact); technological (using IT); and professional (understanding). Each group identified conceptual 'big ideas' that could lead to a reduction in their selected aspect of isolation.
Potential solutions included:
- mentor/peer support;
- creating an on-line student community (social networking?);
- encouraging students to bury ‘markers' around the on-line material for future students to find;
- accretive ‘footprints' in the form of advice/guidance from students that had previously ‘passed that way';
- ‘signing on' – a live UK-wide ‘map' to indicate where and when students are on-line;
- student ‘profiles' to allow an appreciation of the professions represented on the programme.
A selection of ‘big ideas' will be taken back to our initial interviewees for their thoughts. This stage of the project culminates in an article being submitted to CEBE for inclusion in one of their refereed journals. Work will then begin on implementing the solution(s).
The 10th Bristol Planning Law and Policy Conference will be held on 26 November 2009 at the Bristol City Centre Marriott. The programme will include afternoon seminar groups and the following presentations with Ken Livingstone as after dinner speaker:
A lasting settlement for planning under the
Bob Neill, MP, Shadow Minister for Local Government
The economy post credit crunch and recession – where next
Dr Angus McIntosh , Partner - Head of Research, King Sturge LLP
Bristol – a journey from planning blues to green
George Ferguson, Ferguson Mann Architects
Town cramming to town planning – PPG3 to
David Lock of David Lock Associates
A legal perspective on recent developments
Peter Goatley and Christopher Young, No 5 Chambers
Information for delegates at UWE short courses: http://environment.uwe.ac.uk/plpc
A review of recent evidence from 2005 onwards is adding to the understanding of the spatial determinants of health in urban environments. A team from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities led by Marcus Grant has submitted a report to the Urban Environment office of the WHO in Bonn. This is part of a programme helping the EU review what potential exists for urban policy to ensure that cities and urban settlements can better support healthy lifestyles.
Harry Charrington is taking up a lectureship at Bath University. Harry has been instrumental in the evolution of both the Architecture & Planning and the Bachelor of Architecture courses at UWE. His academic contribution and good humour will be missed. All within the department wish him well in his new post.