To a More Ambitious Place


To a More Ambitious Place

London Debate / Wednesday 18 March / 6.30 – 8pm

Do we accept the status quo in place?


  • Alastair Donald, British Council Project Director, British Pavilion,
    Venice Architecture Biennale
  • Leslie Barson, Project Team, London Community Housing Cooperative
  • Andrew Carter, Acting Chief Executive, Centre for Cities
Chair: Sophia de Sousa, Chief Executive, The Glass-House Community Led Design
Drinks reception from 6pm. Debate starts at 6.30pm sharp. 

Venue: B304 – LT1, UCL Cruciform Building, Gower Street, WC1E 6BTRegister now for your FREE place.

Warm up for the debate and kick start your exploration of the theme with our Think Pieces written especially for the Series:

Samar Héchaimé, Factors Ltd:

‘We should take the risk to imagine a different place, a better place and stop thinking that it is acceptable to do it in one particular way, since this is how it is done, the ‘Best Practice’. Best practices are what kill any potential inventions and innovations which will lead us to creating places that we only dream of.’ 

Sir Tom Shebbeare, Virgin Money Giving:

‘Our partners, and in particular the developers and planners, are unanimous that the new ‘super bits of village’ which we have designed together are simply better places than if the professionals had been left to their own devices. The ‘amateurs’ may have been aggravating or worse, but the professionals have certainly enjoyed the experience.

Alexei Schwab, Future of London:

‘The change in permitted development rights for office-to-residential conversions provides an extreme example of what can happen when placemaking is not part of the housing delivery process: without the need to negotiate with local authorities, developers have no requirement or incentive to meet good design standards.

Can’t make the London debate on Wednesday?
We’ll be live tweeting from 6.30pm sharp using the hashtag #GHdebate– add your questions and comments to the discussion!

Local partners:


National partners:



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