Urbanism Award assessment visit summary

Urbanism Award assessment visit summary

September 23, 2014

Thursday September 4th brought the assessment visit for the area’s chance to win the Great Place award from the Academy of Urbanism. This award recognises areas with particular history, character, community, commercial success and connectivity and we are up against 2 other finalists, St Pancras Station and Spitalfields Market.

The assessors (architects, civil engineers and artists) heard our presentation, asked questions, toured the area with us and met several members of our community. The pride and pleasure people have in being part of this special place was so evident and it was a real privilege to be representing it.

I’ve never seen the area looking so good, and help came from so many quarters to achieve this.  Chris Welch from Workhouse Cafe worked non-stop to prepare the tour and enthuse the contributors. His part of the presentation was stunning; based on beautiful photographs taken by him in the days before the judging and accompanied by an excellent speech, it set the judges up to view the area with real admiration.  We also relied on many others:

  • Sam Kendon, Chris Welch and Hamilton Caswell for all their input to the self assessment form content
  • Debbie from the Wardrobe theatre at the White bear, and the White Bear staff, who hosted the presentation
  • Jay and Sally from High Kingsdown who had ensured a fantastic display up there including historical photos, hanging baskets and trays of cakes
  • Robert Byrne for his excellent suggestions for the tour itinerary and suggestions to the cleansing team
  • Professor Paul Martin of UoB who toured us through the Royal Fort Gardens
  • Hamilton Caswell who pointed out so many beautiful buildings and fascinating facts
  • The staff at St Michael’s School who let us take the tour through the playground at hometime
  • The academic from the UoB who explained all about the optical illusion tiles outside the workhouse cafe
  • The many traders on Perry Road who had repainted their shops
  • Dipam Patel and his manager Kani at Zero Degrees who led us through their regeneration project there
  • Alan Hosegood who impressed the judges with the artisan trades like his woodworking still going on by hand in the Colston Yard
  • Dan Delor who gave an impassioned impromptu speech to the judges from his music studio in Colston Yard
  • Max from Urban Fringe Dispensary who took photos of the fitness class on the steps for the presentation (ticked the Health and Wellbeing aspect nicely!)
  • Carrie and Ed from DigHauschizzle who welcomed the tour in and talked up the area
  • Scrappy from Beatroot who handed over a tray of cake for the judges’ tea without having had any notice
  • Dave Smeaton from The Christmas Steps who hosted the judges for a final discussion session
  • Mayor George Ferguson for charming the judges and talking up the area at the end of the day
  • Vicky Welchman from the Council’s Urban Design department who contributed to the presentation, edited the self-assessment form for submission and guided Chris and me through the process
  • David Abbott who helped with the presentation design
  • Trudy Feeney from the cleaning department of the council who arranged graffiti cleansing, extra street sweeping, weed clearing and flower pots
  • Eva Steutzenberger of Destination Bristol for her support at the presentation and her ongoing input to the area
  • David, Brett and Chris for making the film screening  on the steps (The Human Scale, a great film about urban design, no less!) happen that evening

This list has probably left off many; and it should also thank all those who have contributed to the area over the years and by their ongoing activity are making it the special place it is.  It doesn’t matter if we win the award because the big success is the energy the process has generated. Over the next couple of weeks look out for workshop arrangements and ways to get involved to maintain the momentum and make our area even better for our residents, traders and the people of Bristol.