The Expanded City is a three-year programme of artistic research, interventions and events, designed to inform a series of planned infrastructure projects on the outskirts of Preston. Part of Preston’s ‘City Deal’ – a central government initiative which aims to encourage economic growth by addressing strategic infrastructure challenges – the scheme includes the creation of over 5,000 houses as well as new roads and amenities.
Following an invitation by Preston City Council to contribute to their plans, In Certain Places has been working with a group of artists to explore the existing characteristics of the development areas, raise questions and offer suggestions for the future of these places, and generate debate about wider issues of urban planning and policy.
During the last two years, Gavin Renshaw has examined the city’s cycling infrastructure; Emily Speed has tested alternative approaches to play and leisure provision; multidisciplinary design collective, The Decorators, have mapped the changing use of buildings along one of the city’s arterial roads; Olivia Keith has preserved and shared memories of rural development sites; Lauren Velvick has explored the politics of housing; and Ian Nesbitt and Ruth Levene have considered strategies for understanding and acting within a precarious and changing landscape. This map plots some of the artists’ key insights and observations, providing a snapshot of the project to date and offering prompts for further discussions about the future of Preston and other expanding cities.