collage with a hand with the word "no" written in the palm

Blog Archive

From placemaking to placekeeping

Think of a place where you have enjoyed living, felt safe and comfortable, connected and rooted…  The chances are that it was a somewhere with

An expert in what?

I am often called upon to wear my expert’s hat. Whether on a design review panel, assessing innovation pitches or as an event speaker, the

collage with a hand with the word "no" written in the palm

Unforgotten Assets: If it is not wanted – it’s not OK

Bristol’s newest mural by Emily Joy Rich shines a light on the city’s zero tolerance attitude to night time harassment, as part of a new city-wide Campaign by Bristol Nights.

This fabulously huge and impactful piece of street art, entirely covers the dilapidated former Bank of England and neighbouring Norwich Union buildings. The west end of Castle Park certainly looks much better for this colourful, if temporary, face-lift!

This bold new installation surely also marks the death knell for this group of 1960’s buildings, fondly described in the Planning report as ’derelict concrete monstrosities’. These unloved buildings are now quite evidently set for imminent demolition as part of the re-development of this city centre site adjoining the park.

For me as both a local (female) resident, and place strategist, the message ‘If it is not wanted – it’s not Ok’, painted across these three disused office buildings, resonated on a further level…

Is it okay for buildings to be allowed to turn into, remain and become increasingly unused and unwanted?  Is it okay for areas of our cities to be left, as the west-end of Castle Park was, to become so run-down and neglected that residents celebrate when they are to be torn down?

No – this is also not okay! Is clear that the sustainability of our towns and cities, as safe, welcoming and thriving socioeconomic centres, is dependent on asset owners responding to contemporary needs, and ensuring buildings don’t just outlive their intended purpose and let them become dis-used and unwanted.

Repurposing real estate assets is a key to the stewardship of the built environment, and we’re passionate about helping owners of un(der)-utilised buildings safeguard their future use and positive impact.

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