Talk: The Rise of Towns

Talk: The Rise of Towns

Join us to look at the success stories & the challenges that smaller-scale brings.

Arnolfini, BS1 4QA
£12 Standard / £10 Concessions / £5 Student (UWE)


The pandemic saw a shift in favour of towns & away from megacities. From Clevedon to Margate, Nailsea to Frome, how can we harness the unique qualities of place & the closeness of communities that make towns such great places to live?

We look at the success stories & the challenges that smaller-scale brings. How do we stimulate the economies of towns in a grassroots way that values and supports people & places? What can we offer to young people to keep a balanced demographic, & can we attract new people to towns without pricing out existing residents?

From Frome Independent to Dreamland Margate, our speakers share original ideas that sparked a process of reclaiming, rethinking & regenerating their towns. In Nailsea & Clevedon, Design West’s project Two Towns is bringing citizens, local businesses, councillors, young people & cultural leaders together to create a vision for the future of the towns.

About our speakers:

Wayne Hemingway MBE is an English designer & co-founder of Red or Dead.  He is also on the Design Council Trustee Board & having been with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) for a decade since its inception (as Chair of Building For Life), he is now on the Design Council CABE Committee.

Wayne is a Professor in The Built Environment Department of Northumbria University, a Doctor of Design at Wolverhampton, Lancaster and Stafford, a Fellow of Blackburn College & a Senior Fellow of Regent’s University London.

Pippa Goldfinger is Head of Design at Design West & manages Design Review Panels across the West of England.  She is a member of the Academy of Urbanism & previously served as a Town Councillor & Mayor of the award-winning Frome Town Council. In 2022, Pippa was made an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA in recognition of her contribution to Architecture.

Alex Hearn is the Assistant Director of Placemaking and Growth at North Somerset Council responsible for planning, economic development, placemaking, development programme, capital programme & climate emergency. He has led the preparation of new placemaking strategies for Weston, Portishead, Clevedon & Nailsea & is now responsible for delivery of projects within & between these towns. Alex is part of a dynamic team at North Somerset Council who have taken an active approach to placemaking, with projects such as Dismaland, Superweston & the forthcoming SEE MONSTER.

Hosted in partnership with Arnolfini.