Starting to shape your town? Got any questions? let us know! Share your experiences with us. We would love to hear your stories about the places you have shaped.
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Help shape the evolution of Shape My Town by sharing your experiences. Share your findings, ideas and success stories to inspire others to use Shape My Town. We welcome your feedback and suggestions, and would love to hear your stories about the places you have shaped.
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About the Authors
Matthew is a partner at Coombs Jones Architects+Makers. He is a practicing architect with experience and expertise in making places and communities. He has experience of working on a wide range of design and research projects around the UK, from residential projects to public buildings and settlement analysis and planning.
Since graduating from the Welsh School of Architecture (WSA) in 2005, Matthew has worked at Design Research Unit Wales (DRU-w) and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects. While at DRU-w, Matthew was project architect for ‘Ruthin: Market Town of the Future’ and led the development of a community-led town plan. This case study is part of ongoing research towards a PhD by Design that explores the role of design in market towns. Matthew has exhibited his work on small towns as part of Reflecting Wales 09.09 at Howard Gardens, Cardiff, Ruthin Craft Centre and at the Welsh National Eisteddfod. He recently co-organised ‘Remnants’, an open competition and exhibition exploring the leftover spaces of Cardiff as part of Cardiff Design Festival.
Publishing and Research Partner: Design Commission for Wales
The Design Commission for Wales is an expert public body working throughout Wales to help make it a better place, by design. They promote good design for the built environment and communicate its benefits. The Commission is concerned with the quality of the built environment in Wales and to raise the design quality of buildings, places and public realm. They work with colleagues in the fields of architecture, urban and landscape design, involved in shaping the countryside, cities, towns and villages of Wales. The Commission is pleased to support the Shape My Town Manual and to be a partner in the Ruthin Futures Project.
Wayne Forster is an architect and Deputy Head of the Welsh School of Architecture. He leads the Design Research Unit Wales and runs the Graduate Programmes in the School. Wayne combines practice with research in the areas of construction, environmental and low-energy design as well as broader concerns of architectural theory and design.
Some useful books & reports to inform and inspire:
National Assembly for Wales Enterprise and Business Committee: ‘Regeneration of town centres’
Mary Portas, ‘The Portas review: An independent review into the future of our high streets’
Paul Knox & Heike Meier, ‘Small Town Sustainability’: Birkhauser books
WAG, ‘Dynamic Smaller Towns: Identification of critical success factors’
Miller Research, ‘Evaluation of Current Practice in Relation to Town Centre Regeneration’
RIBA, ‘Guide to Localism Opportunities for Architects: Part 1, Neighbourhood Planning’
Groundwork & Julian Dobson, ‘Grey Places Need Green Spaces: The Case for Investing in our Nation’s Natural Assets’
Jan Gehl, ‘Cities for People’
CABE, ‘The Value of Public Space’
Mayor of London, ‘Better Streets: Practical Steps’
New Economics Foundation, ‘Clone Town Britain: The survey results on the bland state of the nation’
New Economics Foundation, ‘Reimagining the High Street: Escape from Clone Town Britain’
New Economics Foundation, ‘Ghost Town Britain’
Yorkshire Forward, ‘Distinctive Futures’
Peter Bishop, ‘The Bishop Review: The Future of Design in the Built Environment’
Neil Powe Trevor Hart and Tim Shaw, ‘Market towns: roles challenges and prospects’
Wales Rural Observatory, ‘Small and Market towns in Wales and their Hinterlands’
Harold Carter, ‘Towns of Wales’
Sue Clifford and Angela King (ed), ‘Local distinctiveness: place, particularity and identity’