Heavyweight partners on board for Yorkshire's 2003 urban regeneration forum

Regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and English Heritage are adding their support to a visionary forum of key players involved in Yorkshire’s regeneration.

Planning is underway for the third series,
4x4 Making Places 2003 that entails a series of four presentations taking place over a four-week period in March at the Leeds Metropolitan University School of Architecture starting at 6pm.

The series, which is free of charge and open to everyone, has grown from strength to strength since being initiated by Ian Tod of Allen Tod Architecture in 2001.It is supported by local and national organisations including the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Yorkshire.

Participants for the 2003 forum hail from a wide range of professions, with even more members of the public set to join the stimulating debate that focuses on creating quality places in which people in Yorkshire live, work and play.

Commented David Fraser, Yorkshire Regional Director of English Heritage who are taking part for the first time: "In the 21st century, the re-making of the historic cities and towns of Yorkshire is an exciting challenge. It is very important that professional ideas and expertise are shared amongst the whole audience provided by

The popular event will kick off on March 6 with the theme ‘Except the English’ which looks at housing in towns and cities and will be chaired by the Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Lord Richard Best (OBE).

The session on March 13 called ‘Attraction’ examines the ability of places to attract visitors and population, and will include presentations on the city of York and on The Deep attraction in Hull. A regional perspective will be presented by Heather Hancock Head of Property at Yorkshire Forward.

The third presentation on March 20, chaired by Robert Powell, Executive Director of Public Arts, is ‘Public Domain’ and concentrates on the quality of public spaces with contributions from artists, designers, engineers and policy makers.

The fourth and final session on March 27 will be based around the ‘Renaissance Towns’ initiative of Yorkshire Forward Chaired by Terry Hodgkinson, Managing Director of Magna Holdings Ltd. Speakers will include Kelvin Cambell of Urban Initiatives, Councillor Steve Houghton, Leader of Barnsley Council and a member of one of the ‘Town Teams’, who will deliver a presentation on Yorkshire Forward’s Renaissance Towns project.

Series founder Ian Tod is optimistic that the 2003 series looks set to further raise the level of debate while stimulating and challenging both participants and audience.

"Creating quality towns and cities requires openness and co-operation from all involved. The
4x4 series provides a unique and dynamic partnership for people to hear the views of those who are actively engaged in delivering change and improvements. We expect the 2003 event to be the best yet and are looking forward to the lively discussions and thought-provoking debate."

Regional Director of the RIBA, Emma England, said: "The success of
4x4 highlights the level of commitment from the wide-ranging disciplines that come together and debate issues related to architecture, urban design and regeneration. The RIBA regards 4x4 as an extremely important platform for spearheading productive regional debate."

Note to editors

In January 2001, Ian Tod of Allen Tod Architecture, aware that much of the quality work being done in Yorkshire was largely invisible and unknown, set out to widen the debate on creating quality places in which people live, work and play. He invited 16 regional architectural practices to share a common platform in the first
4x4 Making Our Cities initiative at the Leeds Metropolitan University School of Architecture.

The popularity of the venture, and the stimulating debate it provoked from contributors and members of the public substantially widened the focus for the 2002 event. Participants extended to developers, engineers, council representatives and the media. The series brought a substantial increase in the number of members of the public who turned up to contribute to the debate that seeks to bring about a step change in the quality of Yorkshire’s towns and cities.