Posted on: March 18th, 2020 by Michael Durran No Comments

People, Place and Space – Coastal West Sussex Conference 2020

Nick Lomax was one of 4 speakers at the Coastal West Sussex Partnership’s annual conference last week, which took place at Ricardo’s striking Innovation Centre in Shoreham. The topic was People, Place and Space: The Future. Nick was one of 4 speakers and spoke about the Future of Place. The conference was organised is collaboration with the Greater Brighton Economic Board and Wilmott Dixon.


Nick’s was tasked to look at what our towns and other communities of the future will look like? His take on the subject was less about the public realm in its simplest form and more about what goes into the public realm and the buildings surrounding it, especially in the street, dividing his talk into the following key topics:


Transport – Infrastructure – Ecology & Diversity – Energy – Water – Waste – Food – Culture & Leisure – Economy – Use of Land – Political Will


In Nick’s opinion, 2020 is an interesting time to give this talk. We are at the start of a tectonic shift in infrastructure world-wide. It’s at least 20 years later than it should but in terms of climate change and we cannot really delay it any further. In infrastructure terms this will be the third such shift in the UK. The first, in the 19th Century, was the rail network, in the 20th Century it was the motor car, with even huger impact on our environment, and now in the 21st century we have big choices to make. Do we use the various technologies and knowledge at our disposal to replicate the mistakes of the past, or do we plan and deliver urban conurbations where streets are for people, which improve our well-being, are not life-threatening and are fit for purpose in the twenty-first century.



Nick starts with transport, which he sees as the biggest  issue to be tackled, The problems of congestion and the associated air pollution are huge and solutions are difficult and expensive, as there is a finite limit to available road space in which to expand the capacity of existing modes of urban transport. He favours the introduction of Personal Rapid Transit Systems which he illustrates in his talk along with his other key themes.

Nick was joined by three other speakers:

– Heather Bewers, a Futurologist, talking about the Future: Looking at the world of work, where it takes place and its future impact on us.

– Richard Pickett from Willmott Dixon, talking about Space: the challenges the industry faces in the current climate crisis and how the built environment is responding to reduce its impact.

– Mat Hunter from Plus X, talking about People: how do we create workspaces that are environmentally sustainable, flexible and that promote creativity as well as being stimulating to younger people.

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