Last night we hosted our second U+I Think event for 2017 in partnership with Dot Dot Dot, the property guardian social enterprise, bringing together a panel of thought-leaders and industry-trailblazers to discuss the future of meanwhile use.
U+I is a major proponent of meanwhile use as an essential part of the development process. It helps us to understand the fine grain of a place that would be completely missed if we put up hoardings and waited until we secured planning. The event was designed to explore how meanwhile use can become more "worthwhile", adding genuine community value and long-term benefit.
Chaired by urban regeneration advisor David Barrie, the panel included Katharine Hibbert, Founder and Director of Dot Dot Dot; Roger Wade, Founder of BoxPark; Eric Reynolds, Founding Director of Urban Space Management; Reza Merchant, the CEO of Pop Brixton; Dan Taylor, Programme Manager (Regeneration) at London Borough of Southwark; and finally, Anna Strongman, Senior Projects Director at Argent.
Deputy CEO of U+I, Richard Upton, opened the event by challenging the current rhetoric: "I am interested in moving the debate beyond meanwhile to worthwhile use. How to deliver long-term social value based on an understanding of the land and the surrounding area that allows you to use that land most productively."