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Open call: Architects sought to help Local Authorities develop placemaking plans

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Thursday 6 June) launched an open call for architects to apply to work alongside the Local Authorities who have already been selected to participate in the 2019 Future Place programme.

From improvements to a Norfolk seafront to developing plans for car-free living in Devon, the Future Place programme is now looking for talented architects or practices to help the five areas develop their priorities.

The programme aims to recognise and support high quality placemaking in England. The scheme is run by the RIBA alongside the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Homes England, Local Government Association (LGA) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

The five Future Places – Bradford, Gateshead, Great Yarmouth, Greater Exeter and North Northamptonshire – were selected based on their ambitious visions to enhance people’s lives, improve community wellbeing and create sustainable environments.

The five place-making commissions are:

  • Bradford – diverse community-led placemaking

The City of Bradford District Council has a strong vision to transform the city centre by creating new homes and economic opportunities. Entrants are invited to identify innovative ways to engage with the young, diverse communities of the future.

  • Gateshead – health and wellbeing-led placemaking

Gateshead Council is committed to creating a lively and connected town centre which promotes a better quality of life. Entrants are invited to identify opportunities to improve health, wellbeing, social interaction for future residents of the town.

  • Great Yarmouth – heritage and innovation-led placemaking and growth

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is currently driving forward an ambitious Town Centre Masterplan and major regeneration projects along the seafront to enhance the experience for tourists and the local community. Entrants are invited to carry out an analysis of the seafront and propose improvements to the public realm.

  • Greater Exeter – sustainable growth and high density-living-led placemaking

By 2040 Greater Exeter wants to be recognised as a global leader in sustainable living and one of the most active, healthy and accessible cities in England. Entrants are invited to develop design principles for higher-density car-free neighbourhoods.

  • North Northamptonshire – landscape and green infrastructure-led placemaking

The five partner Local Authorities which make up North Northamptonshire plan to advance an ambitious growth agenda to build 40,000 homes over 20 years and create a new Garden Village. Entrants are invited to develop principles for the design and management of a key radial route connecting new Garden Communities with the town centre.

RIBA President, Ben Derbyshire, said:

“This is an opportunity for talented architects to support their Local Authority planning teams at a strategic level, helping them to explore a really interesting mix of design challenges. Each of the five places were selected because of their vision and determination to deliver meaningful change, and winners of this first phase can demonstrate the added value an architect can bring to placemaking. This programme, collaborating with sister Institutes RTPI, LGA, CIH and with support from Homes England recognises the vital role that councils play in creating happy, healthy and sustainable communities. I hope there will be a good response to this programme supporting local activism in the profession.”

RIBA is inviting Chartered Architects and Practices to submit Expressions of Interest by 27 June 2019. More information on the open call process can be found here.