Lecture series to explore how planning can reduce the North-South divide

A lecture series that explores the role of planning in reducing the north-south divide will be launched by the University of Liverpool.

The series builds on the recent Northern Futures conference, which was addressed by Lord Heseltine and brings together in local government, planning and regeneration from the public and private sector.

Peter Batey, Professor of Town and Regional Planning, said: “We hope that the lecture series will help take forward the debate on City Mayors, Local Economic Partnerships, sustainable regeneration, and how to create new jobs and economic prosperity for the region.”

Dr Sue Kidd, Head of the Department of Civic Design, said: “There is growing concern for the plight of the Northern regions, a fear intensified by concern over the national economy. We want to explore how positive planning can contribute to solving the problems of the north-south divide – it’s success in the past and how we can take this forward in the future.”

Speakers in the series include Professor Ian Wray, former Chief Planner with the Northwest Development Agency who will explore what makes for success in British planning for infrastructure, and what this means for emerging initiatives.

Walter Menzies, former Chief Executive of the Mersey Basin Campaign and lifelong advocate of sustainable development, will consider the critical success factors for Atlantic Gateway as a a global exemplar.

Professor Peter Nears, Strategic Planning Director of Peel Holdings, will look at the significance of planning in the regeneration process, the opportunities and benefits which might emerge from the Government’s new Localism agenda, and if the Atlantic Gateway concept can help rebalance the national economy and drive forward growth in the North West.

Professor Robert Barr, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Warrington Borough Council, will explore the ‘edge city’ concept introduced by American journalist Joel Garreau, and ask how relevant this might be to the future of the Mersey Belt.

Northern Futures in a Rebalanced Britain: School of Environmental Sciences Lecture Series in the Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool, Ashton Street, L69 3DR. The lectures are free of charge and open to all.

Thursday 9 February 2012, 5.30 – 7pm

Professor Ian Wray, Former Chief Planner, Northwest Development Agency

Plans That Worked : The culture of British planning and its implications for Northern revival.

Thursday 16 February 2012, 5.30 – 7pm

Professor Walter Menzies, Former Chief Executive, Mersey Basin Campaign

Mersey 2030? : The sustainable development of Atlantic Gateway.

Thursday 23 February 2012, 5.30 – 7pm

Professor Peter Nears, Strategic Planning Director, Peel Holdings

Location, Location, Localism: Implications for property investors and infrastructure providers.

Thursday 1 March 2012, 5.30 – 7pm

Professor Robert Barr, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Warrington Borough Council

Living on the Edge: A Mersey Belt perspective.

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