Resilient Environments Centre

ParticipologyThe Resilient environment centre has a range of news and events.

Research shortlisted for national award

Professor Alister Scott and colleagues have been shortlisted for the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement.  Their research focuses on games as effective planning participation tools, building on previous research that developed a game known as RUFopoly (to explore planning in the Rural Urban Fringe).   Their new work has developed PARTICIPOLOGY as a web based resource that helps people design, deliver and evaluate all stages of a participative process leading to a plan or strategy. Using a board-game format, it provides guidance, resources  and templates that can be tailored to specific participative needs. We have worked with a range of projects across public, private and voluntary sectors; across UK, European and overseas countries; with schools, professionals and community groups, to co-develop the resource and associated  guidance within their real projects as case studies.    


Library Losing Birmingham’s Central Library

Peter Larkham and David Adams have just published a major review of the Central Library, which is now almost demolished.  A major component of the post-war rebuilding of the bombed city, it was designed by the locally-trained architect John Madin and was to form a key component of the new civic quarter.  But the city couldn’t afford the white Carrara marble cladding and opted for concrete, which stained and went grey: this wasn’t a pretty building. 

It did function well as a library, and Chamberlain Square was a popular public meeting place.  English heritage experts did value its importance for post-war architecture and twice recommended it for Listing.  Two secretaries of State decided that they wouldn’t list it.  The city council decided that the site was valuable and should be redeveloped.  So Europe’s largest municipal library, built at great expense in the early 1970s, has had a very short life and has now gone.

The paper is published in the 2016 issue of the Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society.  The Society is an expert organisation which has by law to be consulted about planning decisions affecting historic buildings.

Royal Town Planning award to former student

The Royal Town Planning Institute has awarded a Commendation to Jennifer Towers, who studied on our MA Environmental and Spatial Planning, for her application for Chartered Membership through the Assessment of Professional Competence. Jen was one of 5 selected for this award from 400 APC applicants. Phil Williams, the RTPI President, said that “this accolade not only recognises Jennifer’s achievement, but gives her the chance to provide advice and serve as an inspiration to other licentiates going through the APC. The quality of Jennifer’s submission was excellent.  This achievement reflects as positively on the planning school as it does on the candidate”.

New Lecturer in Real Estate

Dr Tim Lee has just joined the Centre as Lecturer in Real Estate. Tim is well qualified (BSc Physics, Durham; Dip Surveying Practice, Reading; MSc Surveying, Northumbria; PhD, Reading).  He has industry experience in property valuations and energy assessments.  He has just completed a post as a researcher with an EPSRC project on modelling the building stock of NE England, specifically looking at energy modelling.  He will be able to develop our Real Estate courses and contribute to research and consultancy.