Julie Witham's Blog (39)

Royal Fort Gardens

Visited Royal Fort Gardens (Bristol University) at the weekend and was really impressed with the new spaces that have been created at the top of the hill there, and the new artwork 'Hollow' described as a modernist grotto…


Added by Julie Witham on June 16, 2016 at 8:26 — 1 Comment

Arena Design Competition - winning team announced

Innovative winning design for new Bristol Arena praised by design competition panel (press release: 17 March 2015)

Plans for the Bristol Arena have taken a dramatic step forward as the winning team is…


Added by Julie Witham on March 19, 2015 at 14:11 — No Comments

Give your views on designs for Bristol Arena

The Bristol Arena project takes another step forward today as five exciting shortlisted designs are revealed following a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) International Design Competition.

Where can I find the designs?

You can see the five design proposals and…


Added by Julie Witham on January 29, 2015 at 10:11 — No Comments

Help shape our proposals for the new Temple Gate

Residents, businesses and commuters are being invited to have their say on plans to replace the Temple Circus roundabout, close to Temple Meads station, with a new simplified road layout. The proposal aims to provide a more direct route for traffic with fewer traffic lights while creating a…


Added by Julie Witham on January 20, 2015 at 9:58 — No Comments

Stephen Hewitt obituary

Many of you will already know about the sad passing of our colleague Stephen Hewitt. I've attached his orbituary from the Guardian.



For the last four years he worked jointly across the public health and planning departments of Bristol city council, influencing the city’s policies for the…


Added by Julie Witham on November 6, 2014 at 11:07 — No Comments

Making the City Playable

Forget about smart cities, Playable City ideas – like Bristol’s water slide or its temporary play streets – are a human response to the coldness and anonymity of the urban environment. This article from The Guardian highlights a number of interesting projects in Bristol and gives details of a forthcoming international conference on the Playable City to be held at the Watershed (10/11 September 2014)…


Added by Julie Witham on September 4, 2014 at 20:11 — No Comments

International competition to design a new arena

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Competitions and Bristol City Council are delighted to announce the launch of an international competition to design a new arena for Bristol.

The Bristol Arena project is a large indoor multipurpose arena, to be located on the former diesel depot site close to Temple Meads railway station in central Bristol.  It is anticipated that the Arena will open in the summer of 2017.…


Added by Julie Witham on August 13, 2014 at 8:47 — 1 Comment

Crowdfunding urban projects

Interesting article in the Guardian which explores the growth in the crowdfunding of urban projects such as bridges. It mentions a crowdfunding website SpaceHive which is involved in the Park and Slide project, a giant (temporary) water slide for Park Street.



Added by Julie Witham on April 29, 2014 at 8:54 — No Comments

Bristol City Council says farewell to five of its Place Makers

In the last few weeks, five of our colleagues in the City Design Group retired. Tina Speake, Richard Holden, Kingsley Fulbrook, Steve Hardiman and Jawahar De Sousa have between them clocked up a massive 103 years with the City Council.  Over this time, they have made significant contributions to a range of developments…


Added by Julie Witham on April 17, 2014 at 14:24 — No Comments

City Beaches Recomendations

Its been seven years since Bristol hosted its own urban beach. Held on Redcliffe Wharf in the summer of 2007, the beach was a real success. There is a rumour that a beach might be coming back in 2015. If in the meantime you're looking for a city break where a beach is on offer, here are a few tips....…


Added by Julie Witham on March 18, 2014 at 11:28 — No Comments

Junction 3 wins awards

http://www.whathouse.co.uk/what-house-awardsJunction 3 has won an award for ‘Best Mixed Use Development’ at the What House? Awards 2013.

Within the same few weeks, J3 was also awarded ‘Residential Development of the Year’ at the South West Insider Property Awards 2013.

Insider said that the…


Added by Julie Witham on February 12, 2014 at 10:11 — No Comments

Bristol region’s economy confirmed as one of strongest outside London

A new national report has confirmed the Bristol city region’s status as one of the strongest performing major English cities outside London on a range of economic indicators, and the only city region to consistently outperform the national average. 

Released today (Monday 27 January), the Cities Outlook 2014 from urban think tank Centre for Cities demonstrates the region’s status as the most economically resilient outside of London.  The report makes the case for further financial…


Added by Julie Witham on January 28, 2014 at 12:09 — No Comments

New 20mph limits will make Bristol roads safer


Roads in central Bristol are set to become much safer as a new 20mph speed limit is launched today (Tuesday 21st January). 

Following extensive consultation with local residents all 30mph roads in Cabot, Cotham, Clifton, Clifton East, Bishopston, Redland wards (excluding five roads)…


Added by Julie Witham on January 28, 2014 at 12:02 — No Comments

Pedestrian and cycle improvements get underway for St James Barton roundabout

Work on the first phase of a range of measures to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to cross one of Bristol’s major traffic junctions starts this weekend, Bristol City Council announced today.

A £1million scheme at St James Barton roundabout will provide a new alternative route around the inner edge of the roundabout at street level so pedestrians and cyclists can cross without using the steps and ramps for the ‘Bearpit’ area.…


Added by Julie Witham on January 28, 2014 at 12:00 — No Comments

The secrets of the world's happiest cities

Is urban design really powerful enough to make or break happiness?


This is explored in a new book:  Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, by Charles Montgomery.

Synopsis: Happy City is the story of how the solutions to this century's problems - from climate change to overpopulation - lie in unlocking the secrets to great city living. Why are some cities a joy to live in, and others chronically miserable? As award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery…


Added by Julie Witham on November 5, 2013 at 11:28 — No Comments

Bristol, the world's first playable city

Interesting article on how Bristol is establishing an international reputation for a Playable City, describing its roots in the city's Legible City initiative. The article focuses on some familiar projects; Playing Out, Play Me I'm Yours and Hello Lamp Post, alongside some projects I wasn't familiar with;…


Added by Julie Witham on November 1, 2013 at 10:46 — No Comments

What should the government's architecture review focus on?

Terry Farrell is conducting the first review into the built environment since the Urban Task Force in 2000. What should he be looking at? 

Definitely something to keep an eye on....

Great that Farrell's review of UK architectural policy has an advisory panel that includes philosopher Alain de Botton and Olympic cauldron designer Thomas Heatherwick. Both have spoken in Bristol in recent years…


Added by Julie Witham on March 25, 2013 at 22:05 — No Comments

Inspiration for Temple Meads Station perhaps...from Sheffield's train station

Spotted this article in The Guardian and thought how nice it would be to have something similar at Temple Meads Station.

In a city still disfigured by hundreds of derelict buildings, the Sheffield Tap is a beacon to follow, proving that with investment, time and passion, there is much of the same to be done. Not simply for idealistic or aesthetic reasons, but to create a functioning, economy-stimulating enterprise. The Tap provides £100,000 in rent per year to the railway…


Added by Julie Witham on March 21, 2013 at 8:11 — No Comments

Building for Life 12 launched

Building for Life 12 has just been launched, and is worth looking at for anyone involved in designing residential neighbourhoods.

BfL12 is designed to help local communities become more involved in design conversations and in shaping development proposals. Its 12 questions provide a structure for discussions between local communities, the local planning authority, the developer and other stakeholders, to ensure that the design of new homes and their neighbourhood are as attractive,…


Added by Julie Witham on February 27, 2013 at 23:22 — No Comments

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