6th July 2023

Festival of Place – Equitable Cities & the Freshest Thinking


Festival of Place was back with a bang yesterday and as always delivered a day jam-packed with the freshest thinking and convention challenging conversations.

Once again taking place at Wembley’s BoxPark, London’s biggest food, culture and social hub, the 20,000 square foot space welcomed hundreds of guests for the 2023 festival. Bringing professionals from across the built environment together to unpick what makes our places thrive and hear from experts and innovators tackling the major issues facing urban development, our team also hosted our own interactive workshop ‘The Equitable City’.

Delivered by our Directors, Leah Stuart and Annabel Precious, and Associate and Sustainability Lead, Claire Young, it was a full-house as we split the audience into groups of six and together tackled the question, ‘If we got the chance to build anew, how would we build an ethical city?’ Cue lots of very animated group-work, chatter and problem solving as everyone combined sketching and real collaboration to come up with a design for their environment that included as many conscious and ethical considerations as possible.

Aside from the joy of a room full of like-minded placemakers coming together for our workshop, there was plenty more to take in throughout the day. Director Leah Stuart moderated two sessions hosted on the Pineapples at Playbox stage, both bringing together award winning projects from across the country that have been recognised at this year’s Pineapple awards for their work making a positive social, environmental and economic impact in their communities. Across three stages, four walking tours and three workshops (including of course our very own session) there was so many other great panels and workshops our team attended. From a deep dive into feminist mapping, understanding how to create an inclusive, safe, night-time economy, case study sharing on Manchester’s iconic Mayfield Park, right through to crazy golf, axe throwing, and a delicious mix of eclectic food and drink options, it was another fantastic showcase of both the fun that can be had and impact made by all of us working across the built environment.

A big thank you to everyone at Festival of Place and all of you who joined our workshop, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. With your ideas for an equitable city including pay what you can public transport, community energy sharing, incentivised car sharing, internal mobile walls, to the weird and wonderful option of live-in pods that will charge us overnight, there’s certainly a lot to process and inspire us all moving forward!

Festival of Place – Equitable Cities & the Freshest Thinking