Procure: Innovating through social enterprises and community land trusts

Chaired by: Dr Cristina Cerulli, Sheffield School of Architecture. 

Time: 11am-12.15pm

Speaker: Dr Mark Lemon
Co-author: Dr Michael Crilly and Yann Bomken
Title: Community Land Trust for the North East and some or all of Yorkshire

Abstract: A presentation of the development of an umbrella Community Land Trust for the North East, and some or all of Yorkshire that has emerged from recent and current development opportunities. It is an example of collaboration and knowledge transfer that brings together a network of organisational contacts and skills in design, sustainability, funding and community development and highlights the potential for an umbrella organisation with the appropriate the legal structure and membership to provide community technical aid and also act as a development agent on behalf of a local community land trust or housing cooperative. The development model and business plan is presented through a shared typology of development opportunities (small scale individual sites, urban infill, urban terrace retrofitting, former institutional conversion, rural community) and funding options (grant, asset, loan, product). This typology is explored through a number of worked examples of ‘mini business plans’ and costed proposals for a variety of historic and current sites in Newcastle, Middlesbrough, York, Rotherham and Leeds. The transferability of appropriate business plans between different sites are discussed with regard to the common stages of planning from project initiation (community networks, skills /capacity and housing needs), business justification (options for funding models including cross-subsidises between high and low demand areas throughout the region), planning / design (professional technical aid, site planning and housing patternbooks), procurement options (areas of partnerships and joint venture collaboration with construction and supply chain partners), construction and management.

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Speaker: Richard Brown, MA Architecture, Royal College of Art
Title: How to make affordable Neighbourhoods: Learning from Hackney Wick’s Self Build Collectives

Abstract: Affordable neighbourhoods, (like Hackney Wick &Fish Island) allow for communities to thrive, with artists, creative practitioners, young enterprises and SME’s collectively taking hold in these emerging fringes of the city. It is clear that it is this affordable environment, of low land values and cheap rents which has brought on what the local planning authority (LLDC) describes as ‘distinctive local regeneration’. Hackney Wick is now said to be home to some of the densest populations of artist’s studios in Europe. It is a hotbed of creative production, communal utopias, hedonistic indulgence and territorial ownership with an overall neighbourly atmosphere. It is a post-industrial twilight zone, now reoccupied and re-imagined as a 21st century creative village, without ring leader nor instigator. It has its own gravity, pulling in graduates, lost artists, bored professionals looking to start a new in this very fertile environment. It is a kind of self-made creative business incubator. As a local ‘training architect in residence’ I have seen this condition take hold in the area, and have contributed (as well as others) to the area’s speedy rise in value. I have documented and disseminated this story amongst the local planning powers, with the hope of influencing new approaches to planning and development in these kinds of neighbourhoods. Further from this initial government supported research I have now began a campaign
for affordable workspace around the Olympic Park. Affordable Neighbourhoods is a research/design/build campaign, searching for ways to create affordable environments whether it be through interim use, low cost self-build construction or community development trusts. The campaign is geared up to work with in local neighbourhoods with existing artists, professionals and creative
practitioners, to inform a new kind of neighbourhood plan, inspired by the thoughts and ambitions of those who have contributed to this grass-roots self-made city growth.

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Speaker: Mark Wilding, Camlin Lonsdale Landscape Architects
Co-author: Xanthe Quayle
Title: Evaluating a landscape scale approach to affordable and sustainable neighbourhood planning

Abstract: A significant shift is underway in the relationship between resident, dwelling, community and neighbourhood which is driven by cultural change, economic necessity and market driven aspirations for affordable, sustainable living. This requires a new approach to neighbourhood planning which embeds opportunities for communities to build their own social, environmental andeconomic capital. Despite the various assessment methods employed to secure sustainability values, neighbourhood planning often continues to present insular, unproductive and arguably anti-social models for living. These failings are perhaps driven by sometimes flawed pre-conceptions of the market’s preference for ownership and privacy1. The seachange in the appetite of the market is demonstrated by the likes of the Transition Movement2, the recent growth in Co-Housing3 projects and a sustained surge of interest and action in localised community issues. In terms of affordable and sustainable housing development, Camlin Lonsdale argue that the potential resource presented by the external environment is key to embedding the capacity for communities to establish, regenerate, and prosper4. Moving away from the PPS17 driven Green Space Typology approach (now withdrawn) and the insular, quantitative (ecological) measures required by BREEAM5 and the Code for Sustainable Homes, and instead recognising the genuine opportunities for Green Infrastructure (GI) to deliver a much broader range of environmental and social services is essential in realising the well-documented benefits to physical and mental health, social resilience and community pride. Whilst Building for Life standards have made limited progress in improving aspects such as proximity to amenities, character and legibility, there remains a vacuum in effective guidance and evaluation tools for pragmatic but innovative neighbourhood approaches to multi-functional, inter-connected and sustainable GI6. Camlin Lonsdale argue that the sustainability evaluation of Green Infrastructure during planning and design should shift or extend from the quantitative species numbers’ focus to the holistic performance of GI, both as habitat and ecosystem, but also as economic generator, community builder and neighbourhood services provider.

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Full detailed programme available here.

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