Past Events
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Managing Contemporary and Historic Design and Development - Cambridge
20 November 2018
Hosted by Cambridge City Council, this two-part seminar and walking tour discussed the challenges associated with managing change in the growing city of Cambridge, with its unique and special historic character. The speakers reflected on the value of the urban fabric, SPAB’s 1877 manifesto, and how to advise decision-makers on the degrees of harm that could be caused or how best to mitigate it with each project that comes forward. The relationship of the city and its network of smaller, but growing, towns and villages was a key consideration for the design of transport networks and the public realm, as well as the historic landscape in between.
The walking tour, which included visits into the stunning interior spaces and courtyards at Wesley House, Jesus College’s West Court, and the Judge School of Business, was an opportunity to discuss developments built in the last 10 years in their urban context, and the evolution of their final forms through the planning system.  


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Under Pressure: Working with the form and setting of smaller settlements
6 November 2018
This seminar-workshop explored how smaller settlements have evolved and the development pressure now being felt as the ‘call for sites’ process has changed the strategic context to spatial planning. The speakers and workshop looked at better ways of pro-actively planning for growth, considering a range of place-making and heritage criteria to determine suitable development sites, and how to create a sound evidence base to support this.
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Understanding Local Distinctiveness: the challenge for new housing in town and country:
12 September 2018

This seminar-workshop discussed why local distinctiveness actually matters, how to identify it, and enshrine it in planning processes. The toolkits and the guides tested in the workshop on parts of central Oxford are available via the links to Planning Aid, Oxford City Council and Historic England.
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Supporting Historic High Streets Part 2: 20 March 2018
Making places for people, rather than traffic, and ensuring that all town centre visitors have good experiences are the key to longevity, and aspects of that need to be better understood.
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Supporting Historic High Streets Part 1: 30 January 2018
Contrary to popular belief, the High Street is not actually dead, but it is timely to consider the challenges and solutions it faces, so that these important civic places can thrive in the future.

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Managing Contemporary and Historic Design and Development: 13 September 2017
This two-part walking tour and seminar visited developments built over the last 10 years in their historic urban context, and looked at ways of balancing historic and contemporary design through planning and design review processes.