The BID Foundation will be joined by a panel of expert contributors for the discussion, called ‘Queering Public Spaces’, which borrows its title from a recent report, co-authored by Dr Ammar Azouz.
Ammar will join other speakers, Bernard Collier, Chief Executive of Vauxhall One, and Charlotte Harris, Landscape Designer, RHS Gold Medallist and contributor to the Rainbow Places network, established by Landscape Institute to support LGBTQ+ allies in the sector.
Business Improvement Districts already work closely with LGBTQ+ communities in the UK, supporting key events, such as Pride, the night time economy, and wider programmes that engage with employers and the public. This discussion will look at this work as well as the wider challenge of engagement and representation of LGBTQ+ within towns and cities.
Following the reopening of high streets after COVID-19 restrictions and as people return in greater numbers to public space, Members of The BID Foundation have expressed concern about recent incidents of hate crime and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Indeed, this is not a recent trend and hate crimes have increased over the past five years. In this context, place leaders need to urgently re-address the issues and explore the range of approaches that can make places safe, welcoming and inclusive for all.
Members of The BID Foundation can join us for Queering Public Space – Wednesday 20th October, 3pm-4pm.
Join our panel:
Dr Ammar Azzouz
Analyst, Arup, and Co-Author of ‘Queering Public Spaces’
Dr Ammar Azzouz graduated from Al-Baath University, Homs, Syria, and went on to be a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge. He works as an Analyst for Arup and is co-author of the report ‘Queering Public Spaces’ which explores the relationship between queer communities and public spaces, and offers thoughts on the urgent need to create more inclusive, welcoming and hospitable environments for everyone.
Chief Executive, Vauxhall One
Bernard Collier leads Vauxhall One BID which invests £4million into improving Vauxhall over its 5 year term. ‘Different since 1661’, the local area has a rich queer history, from its clubs and night time economy to the first LGBTQ+ retirement community announced earlier this year. The BID place inclusivity throughout its ethos, operations and brand and has done much work that specifically serves and addresses the LGBTQ+ community.
Landscape Designer, RHS Chelsea Gold Medallist and Rainbow Places member
Charlotte Harris is a Landscape Designer at Harris Bugg, a studio that works on range of projects from gardens to commercial and public spaces. With an award winning career, including a Gold Medal at RHS Chelsea, Charlotte has also spoken about her experiences of being out at work as a contributor to the Rainbow Places network, established by the Landscape Institute.