Debating the big issues with Hawkins Brown Manchester
It was great to be able to welcome a number of the Hawkins Brown Manchester Studio to join us recently for a fun evening to debate some of the issues affecting Manchester. It was a real opportunity for the Civic Engineers and Hawkins Brown teams at all levels to get to know each other better as we collaborate with them on a number of projects.
With the Manchester skyline changing so rapidly and the city building more skyscrapers than any other UK city outside London, the teams were keen to have a discussion about the future of the city and whether things could be done differently, if so, how? With this in mind, two topics were chosen;
- Urban Development
- Listed Buildings
The debate topics had been chosen by representatives from both companies and teams of 3 were put together so they could prepare the ‘for’ and ‘against’ for each motion. The first motion explored Urban Development and whether we should be encouraging investment and whether it should be controlled in a way which would optimise the development of the City. With many of the team members living in Manchester city centre and talking from their personal experiences, this became quite a lively debate. This discussion was broadened to discuss the effects of City development on the cost of living, rental and purchase market.
The second motion was even more contentious exploring whether demolition of listed buildings should be allowed if it encourages improved development. With both Civic Engineers and Hawkins Brown known for their heritage work and love of working on listed buildings, with the current Rutland Mills project in Wakefield being a great example, the ‘against’ team argued passionately that this would not be a good idea. However the ‘for’ team provided a reasoned argument for assessing each listed building on a case-by-case basis, with demolition sometimes being the best option. The audience voted for their preferred side and the team ‘for’ allowing demolition came out on top.