The first of the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Art School Conversations series, The Big Regeneration Debate, took place last Wednesday at the All Saints building on Oxford Road. Hosted by the prestigious Manchester School of Art, the event invited a variety of speakers to discuss the reasons, effects and examples of successful regeneration within the city of Manchester.
The panel of speakers consisted of: Sir Richard Leese, head of the Manchester City Council; Ian Simpson, architect of the Beetham Tower and the Urbis; Tom Jeffries, head of the Manchester School of Architecture; Fiona Gasper, executive director of the Royal Exchange theatre and Owen Hatherly, author of A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, all chaired by Dave Haslam, legendary Hacienda DJ and author.
Around 180 people from a range of backgrounds, disciplines and outlooks attended and the discussion were encouraged to include perspectives from the audience after the panellists had spoken. The event sparked many questions about the city as an entity and encouraged further thoughts about the practical and real effects of regeneration.
Hot topics were the regeneration of Hulme in the 1990’s, the process and longevity of architecture, the property boom in Manchester, Birley Fields Campus and the relationship between the social housing and luxury apartments within the city.
Overall, a very successful evening with a very interesting discussion about the future of the city of Manchester.