Working groups

About Working Groups

The Place Alliance Working Groups groups have been established following Big Meet 3. These are open to all and define their own agenda. Some are taking forward post-Farrell Review activities and others reflect issues raised in the various Big Meets.

Following a change of emphasis in 2018, that the Place Alliance should focus more on evidence gathering and associated campaigning role, the number of active Working Groups has decreased. Those that continue are now largely independent Affiliated Groups.

However we are always open to proposals for new groups; just send us your ideas to:


Currently Active Groups

Arts & Place

The national Arts and Place Consortium, chaired by Charles Quick, emerged from the Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment 2014 and has now been adopted as a working group of the Place Alliance.

The group is comprised of a range of cultural professionals and artists, supported by the arts organization Beam in collaboration with Farrells architects. It was formed to address and promote the role of the arts and artists in placemaking.

Education & Place

Established in February 2017, this working group, chaired (interim) by Amy Harrison (Architecture Centre), is interested in education that inspires future placemakers both civic and professional.

Our first initiative is a Survey to help us map the provision of Built Environment Education at National Level in 2017. Help us by filling it in and sharing it with your Network.

Urban Rooms

Chaired by Diane Dever, as well as sharing practice and offering support, this group works to promote the value of Urban Rooms to others.

The Urban Rooms Network aim to get people thinking about how they can have their say about the place where they live and thinking the opportunities they can create to do things differently.


Previous Groups

Place Quality

The Place Reviews Working Group, chaired by Ben van Bruggen, provided a forum for exchange on Design Review activities across the country which led to “Big Meet 5: National Conference on Design Review  – Better Process, Better Outcome”.

In 2018, following a research undertaken throughout 2017 by Place Alliance researchers, Place Alliance launched “Reviewing Design Review in London“. This study examined a range of design review cases in London and revealed that generally the practice and experience of design review across London is improving, although there remain some important challenges.

Healthy Places

Chaired by Debbie Sorkin this Group is looked at the links between good design and good places and people’s health and well-being.

The Group MANIFESTO FOR HEALTHY PLACES has been the catalyst that inspired the Big Meet 6 conference in October 2016