with Whittam Cox Architects, Rowan Asset Management & Urban Catalyst

With congestion and soaring house prices forcing people out of London, is it any wonder than the regions are booming? As major investment piles into Britain’s regions, our PropCast says that schools and hospitals have to be the anchors for regeneration projects if we want to help towns left behind during the boom years.

Large scale regeneration is putting the UK’s regional cities on the map once again, helping to drive local economic growth and bring Britain’s ‘forgotten’ cities back on a par with London. Fundamental to the many regeneration schemes which are breathing new life into the UK’s region is the harnessing of wellbeing and placemaking, an expert panel told PropCast.

For David Reid, director at Rowan Asset Management, these two concepts are becoming central to many regeneration developments.  “The whole agenda around delivering sustainable urban places for people to live and work and play that engage properly with local communities from the outset is something that we’re seeing a lot of and I think we’re going to see a lot more play out over the next few years in buildings being developed.”

Agreeing with Reid, Nick Riley, board director at Whittham Cox Architects, added that the NHS Healthy New Towns network is an example of how the concepts of wellbeing and placemaking can ultimately help bring about real social change. “Professor Malcolm Grant who set up the organisation said something quite interesting which was that the fourth largest cost to the NHS at the moment is poor quality housing. That’s after smoking and not eating correctly and not doing enough exercise. It’s not just about new houses that are built poorly and poor quality with damp, it’s about mental wellbeing as well. So the social effects and the cost to the NHS of poor quality housing is absolutely enormous. Hence why this network was set up to try to support better quality housing.”

Participants

Nick Riley

Board Director

Whittam Cox Architects

David Reid

Director

Rowan Asset Management

Ken Dytor

Executive Chairman

Urban Catalyst