Effective characterisation is essential at both local and regional levels to ensure that the townscapes we create are valued both today and tomorrow.
The new regional responsibilities present us with a significant opportunity to ensure that the many examples of local good practice are embedded regionally.
The EHTF, a successful advocate of good practice, now has new allies in the Regional Centres of Excellence for Sustainable Communities. In the East Midlands our Centre is Regeneration East Midlands (REM), which embraces the areas of evidence, funding, skills and design.
The East Midlands has developed a Regional Urban Action Plan. As one of the main urban centres, Lincoln has been an advocate, supporter and participant in the Plan and recognised the importance of testing innovative approaches to characterisation within it. Lincoln has brought together its environmental, regeneration, planning and social sustainability expertise to develop a Lincoln Townscape Assessment and City Centre Masterplan, produced using Enquiry By Design. This aims to ensure that there is a consensual understanding of what is important, what works and why. This work has not only been embedded in the Local Development Framework but also the work of the Local Strategic Partnership which has indeed assumed responsibility for delivery on the agreed vision.
Governance of the Regional Action Plan is delivered by an Urban Partnership Group hosted by REM. .It is hugely supportive of the innovative work being carried out in Lincoln and elsewhere and is seeking ways of incorporating learning into the evolving regional strategies.
The EHTF track record leads me to hope that a solid partnership can develop with the Regional Centres of Excellence.
Formerly Director of Development and Environmental Services for City of Lincoln Council and presently Board Member of Regeneration East Midlands