John Burrell to address the 54th International Making Cities Livable Conference

John Burrell is to address the 54th InternationalMaking Cities Livable Conference on Public Places for Community, Democratic Dialogue, Health, & Equity, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

Public Realm, Squares and Place, Active Streets and Transport – The Livable City

Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard, Co-founder & Director of the IMCL, said “Public places – our streets, plazas, squares, and green spaces – belong to ALL of us! They are our democratically shared common wealth - the most important aspect of every city. How we treat the public realm demonstrates how we value our fellow citizens, our democratic principles, and our community. If we treasure our plazas and main squares as beautiful places for community festivals and celebrations, we are embracing our unity and the power of our shared identity as a city."

John Burrell will be talking about his work on three recent campaigns in London for Save Britain’s Heritage and the Spitalfields Trust – Smithfield Market / King's College Strand / Spitalfields.

Smithfield Market - After three years work widely disseminating groundbreaking ideas and vivid imagery for a successful Public Inquiry London’s historic Smithfield Market was saved from being demolished just to make way for a private office building. It will now be restored as a New Museum of London as a fully public building. The success established new conservation case law, valuing character and uses, not just facades.

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The Strand - An alternative strategy for a new public space opposed the demolition of a terrace of historic buildings and shops and the public outcry resulted in King's College withdrawing plans for a single building. There are now discussions about how the Strand, next to Kings College and Somerset House, could become a new publicly accessible university precinct.

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Norton Folgate, Spitalfields - Where the planning process and democratic planning decisions were ignored and overruled prompting legal challenges for a Judicial Review. The current threat of the demolition of scores of premises in the historic Norton Folgate district and replacement with six over-scaled office buildings by a single organisation is being opposed using viable alternative more enlightened proposals. The community backed scheme is going through the planning process and returning businesses, new occupiers, and affordable housing providers await the opportunity to return and preserve the scale and vibrant culture of this part of London.


John will also be hosting a session on Reclaiming Neglected Neighbourhoods, based on his award-winning experience of working with residents on public housing.

More details about the conference can be found here.