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Meeting in the Middle: Main and High Street placemaking, now and next

Meeting in the middle: Main and High Street placemaking, now and next will take place virtually via Zoom on the 20th May 3.00-4.30pm

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The conversation will focus on the future of the High Street and how to listen to stakeholders and work with partners and collaborators. Many in local government and administration put the focus on this and have good intentions, but may not know how to deliver it in practice to achieve the best results. Administrative structures may of course impinge this, alongside perceptual issues on both sides of administration and people, and there are issues of trust and over-consultation. In this sense, the conversation is inspired by the first event with IPM, Meeting in the Middle: how can you meet in the middle when there is no trust between community and the formal structure.

Of course, in the wake of COVID-19, the High Street is facing new challenges, and we will discuss this, as well as posit on new ideas/methods to save and transform the High Street. So what does High Street placemaking need to be in this setting in the long term? In addition, as we look to the future we need to consider who our high streets are for and whether they are accessible and inclusive.

This event will once again be hosted by IPM's Dr Steve Millington and newly appointed Senior Fellow Dr Cara Courage. The event will draw upon themes and authors from the Routledge Handbook of Placemaking.

Steve will kick off the session by framing the event firstly in theory and then how these concepts have filtered into policy at a national level. Cara will follow by briefly setting the scene in the context of the Routledge Handbook of Place and issuing the provocation to our panel: who are high streets for post-pandemic?

The panel in speaking order


Sarah Calderon, Managing Director of ArtPlace America

Chapter: A Future of Creative Placemaking, w/ Erik Takeshita

James Lima, President of James Lima Planning + Development

Chapter: Placemaking as an Economic Engine for All, w/ Andrew J. Jones

Sean Peacock, PhD researcher based at Open Lab, Newcastle University

Chapter: Sensing our Streets: Involving Children in Making People-centred Smart Cities, w/ Aare Puussaar and Clara Crivellaro

Kim Cook, Director of Creative Initiatives for Burning Man

Chapter: Listen, Connect, Act

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About the author


Formed in 2006, the Institute of Place Management is the international professional body that supports people committed to developing, managing and making places better.

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