The BIG MEET is the Place Alliance annual conference, an opportunity for a diverse range of organisations across the build environment sectors to come together to discuss, debate and provide a powerful collective voice on the current issues about the quality of the built environment and its delivery.

Place Alliance is delighted to invite you to Big Meet 9: “Leadership in place-making: beyond beauty”.

Big Meet 9 will focus on the complex question of local leadership in place making. In particular, as we gear up to produce more housing as a nation, we need to be careful that we are creating real places and communities rather than isolated and unsustainable estates. This will require a clear vision within local authorities and backing from Central Government to prioritise quality in design rather than development for development sake. 

BM9 will also host the launch of “Place Value and the Ladder of Place Quality“, a Place Alliance guide for decision making about the built environment, supported by the Design Network.

Through the Ladder of Place Quality, the report presents a simple tool for architects, planners, councillors, developers and citizens to quickly assess and advocate for high quality places when making policy, project or investment decisions that affect the built environment.

Big Meet 9 is part of the Making People-Friendly Places campaign. 


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09:30  Registration & Coffee

10:00  Welcome from Place Alliance Prof Matthew Carmona, Chair, Place Alliance

Session 1 – The National (and international) scene 

11:00 Q+A/Panel Discussion

11:30  Coffee Break

Session 2: Beyond beauty

12:30 Q&A/Panel discussion

13:00 Lunch Break

Session: Local leadership

14.50 Round table debates – Local leadership on design, overcoming the challenges
15.20 Feedback and discussion
15.40 Final reflections
15.45 Close

Confirmed Speakers

Andy von Bradsky, Architectural Advisor @ MHCLG

Sir Roger Scruton, Chairman of the Building Better – Building Beautiful Commission @MHCLG

Prof Matthew Carmona, Chair @ Place Alliance

Joao Dos Santos Ferreira Bento, Research Fellow @ The Bartlett School of Planning

Angela Koch, Founder & Director @ Creating Excellence

Esther Kurland, Director @ Urban Design London

Valentina Giordano, Research Fellow & Place Alliance Manager @ The Bartlett School of Planning

Amy Harrison, Head of Learning and Participation @ The Architecture Centre Bristol

Carmen Mateu-Moreno, Future Place Project Manager @ RIBA

Dan Roberts, Senior Specialist in the Planning, Enabling & Development @ Homes England

Frederic Saliez, Deputy Director @ the Brussels Liaison Office of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

Katja Stille, Director @ Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design

Julie Tanner, Panel Manager @ Creating Excellence

Previous Big Meets


Artists and the Arts in Place-Making


Engaging communities in Place-Making


Healthy Places

Get involved


The Place Alliance is a movement for place quality. It is founded on the idea that through collaboration and better communication we can establish a culture whereby the quality of place becomes an everyday national and local priority. Place Alliance is open to all and brings together organisations and individuals who share the belief that the quality of our built environment has a profound influence on people’s lives.

The success of Place Alliance depends on the support of its supporters and volunteers. We welcome all organisations and local groups as well as individuals, town and parish councils, local authorities and businesses as members and supporters of Place Alliance.

Join Us

Become a Core Supporter, join an existing Working Group or suggest another group or initiative by emailing your ideas to us. Just complete the Supporters Form or subscribe to our Newsletter


Place Alliance is an independent not-for-profit initiative of UCL. We operate on a tight budget and rely on the generosity of our supporters. For those who wish to make a donation to help grow the Place Alliance network visit our UCL online giving page to make a gift. If you would like more information on how we will spend your donation contact Your support is truly appreciated.


Prof Matthew Carmona – Chair

Valentina Giordano – Chief Executive

To discuss how we might work together please email