Whether you are a Business Improvement District, town team or business group, its important to achieve long-term influence and coordinated delivery by getting involved in planning. Here we share our philosophy that, not surprisingly, is to put people and place at the centre of the process. Our specialism is in understanding the role of town centres and their ‘place’ the wider economy and well-being of a community.
We seek to achieve ‘planning for people’ through the following steps that can be adapted to the rigours and requirements of different planning processes:
- Gather evidence to help people in understanding town trends
- Use this understanding in stakeholder engagement and creating talented teams
- Work with communities, councils and commercial interests to agree a vision and action-orientated masterplan
- Support local stakeholder groups in delivering ‘quick wins’ that create confidence and capacity
- Work with councils to agree expectations, shape services and influence strategy
- Continue to monitor impacts and modify delivery accordingly
In the words of our associates, Chris Jones Regeneration, this approach to planning for people is not limited to a map-based or physical regeneration process but is about the ‘hardware’ and software of a place:
“Place planning is about involvement and being able to guide and direct investment and change in a place that isn’t only about the built environment but how people perceive, use and belong to it.”
This approach is exemplified in our work undertaken jointly with Chris Jones Regeneration to pilot Place Plans in Wales as a way of complementing strategic frameworks and enabling local conversations and capacity. The same approach can be adapted for a town team or BID seeking to work with stakeholders and achieve strategic influence. It can also readily be used as part of the formal Neighbourhood Planning process in England as a way of recognising the importance of town centres at the heart of growing communities.
If you would like to learn more about how these different aspects of planning for people can be brought together or to receive an example of a town centre action plan, get in touch with Chris Wade on 07788 278126 or firstname.lastname@example.org