2016 / Creating a Livable ‘Northern Powerhouse’, Category C
Conceptual Project/Ideas - Creating a Livable ‘Northern Powerhouse’
The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is a government-led initiative to address the economic imbalance between the North and South of England. We want to humanise the strict economic focus of the ‘Powerhouse’ policy by embedding livability and cultural sensitivity into the model for future growth. Culture, landscape and infrastructure are fundamental to this approach, cultivating civic empowerment and intergenerational justice for future generations.
The degradation of the industrial revolution and its subsequent decline created a lasting cultural image of the region, particularly to those that have not witnessed the urban renaissance of northern cities. Yet, while living conditions have since improved beyond measure, inconsistencies continue to exist.
A strategy for a liveable environment would underpin economic prosperity for all inhabitants by harnessing cultural identities, landscape opportunities and supportive infrastructures. This would mean engaging and empowering communities and creating mechanisms that allow people to influence their surroundings, cultivating pride and civic responsibility, balancing the proportions of continuity and change in the built environment, retrofitting sustainable energy production and avoiding insensitive ‘repackaging’ of history, identity and culture.
The development of the Northern Powerhouse provides the opportunity to create a positive urban environment essential to social, environmental and economic sustainability for all inhabitants of the region. By pursuing and promoting a livable agenda in the North we can begin to enhance and level out the discrepancies in living standards while shifting out-dated perceptions of the region.