Open City Symposium

Open City was a two-day programme of talks and debates by urban professionals and artists. It also included ‘hands-on’ workshops, which examined the current condition of Preston City Centre and the various plans and aspirations for its future. The event employed Preston as a case study for exploring the contemporary role of ‘mid-sized’ cities in the UK, and presented creative responses to urban development.

The first day included four presentations, which took place at University of Central Lancashire and empty buildings in the city centre, and a walking tour. The second day involved mapping, creating and testing workshops lead by artists Professor Charles Quick and Gisele Bone, architect Ann Vanner and human geographer Dr. Hannah Neate. Delegates undertook mapping exercises, which revealed different perspectives of Preston. This encouraged people to view the city through the eyes of other people, uncovered aspects which are not always visible and generated new ideas for its future. These ideas were then tested through interventions and conversations in the city centre streets.

Speakers: Jeanne van Heeswijk, Jen Southern, John Thorp, Paul Swinney
Locations: University of Central Lancashire, Fishergate Baptist Church, the Harris Institute and Guild House (Preston)
Years: 2013
Partners: Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council, North Lancashire Society of Architects, RIBA North West

Inhabiting a Collective Narrative by Jeanne Van Heeswijk

Open City walking tour

Technologies in the City by Jen Southern

The Dynamics of the City by John Thorp

The Economics of a City Centre by Paul Swinney

In Certain Places

VB005A, Victoria Building
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE