Big Meet 9

2 April 2019, London

Big Meet 9 focused 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.

About Big Meet 9: 

Leadership in place-making: beyond beauty

The agenda for the day explored the national picture, examined the key components of placemaking, discussed the latest research evidence, and explored how localities are rising to meet the  challenge.

Morning Session 1: The National and international scene

The first part of the morning session focused on national and international examples of the leadership in place-making. A panel discussion was chaired by Matthew Carmona and featured Andy von Bradsky, Sir Roger Scruton, Dan Roberts, Frederic Saliez and Dr João Bento.

Morning Session 2: Beyond the beauty

The second part of the morning discussion was chaired by David Rudlin. Katja Stille reminded the audience about the importance of making people-friendly places, Matthew Carmona introduced the Place Value Research and the Ladder of Place Quality. Carmen Mateu-Moreno spoke about the places people want to live in the future and Amy Harrison highlighted the importance of education in nurturing the next generation of creative placemakers.

Afternoon Session: Local Leadership

Local leadership was discussed in the round table discussion chaired by Max FarrelValentina Giordano presented the findings of the latest Place Alliance research “Design quality in new housing, the councillor perspective”, Julie Tanner spoke of the regional dimension of Design Network. Angela Koch highlighted the importance of community involvement in the design process, and Dr Mike Biddulph presented the case of Cardiff and discussed the challenges of the local leadership on design.

Featured Talks & Speakers

Place Alliance is thankful to all Big Meet speakers for being so generous with their time.

We really appreciate the involvement and we are grateful for the time and effort speakers took to share their thoughts and experiences with all our Supporters.

We hope that they enjoyed contributing and have gained further insight from the experience.

Katja Stille

Director at Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design @Tibbalds


Katja is an urban designer with over 15 years of experience. She has an architectural and engineering background, including studies in Civil Engineering in Germany; and an architectural diploma and MA in Urban Design from the UK. She is a longstanding member of the Urban Design Group and currently the Treasurer. Her recent work focusses on large scale projects, spatial strategies and design policy. She work with public sector bodies and private landowners and their teams to develop  masterplans and development frameworks to help bring forward development.

Se is motivated by delivering better places for people and work  collaboratively across professional boundaries in order to achieve this. Currently, she is involved in delivering Northstowe, a new town in Cambridgeshire promoted by Homes England. Katja seeks to find solutions to unlocking issues that prevent us from delivering good design and placemaking. 

Frédéric Saliez

Deputy Director at the Brussels Liaison Office of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) @UNHABITAT


An Architect and Civil Engineer from Catholic University of Louvain, Frédéric holds a Master of Research in Geography from University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Throughout his career, Frédéric Saliez has contributed to designing and implementing public policies in the fields of urban planning and design, social cohesion, environmental protection and cultural heritage in a variety of contexts. 

He has worked successively in Belgium, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cuba, Kenya, Kosovo and Brazil. Since 2012, Frédéric is deputy Chief of UN-Habitat Office for Europe and European  Institution, based in Brussels.

Dan Roberts

Senior Specialist in Planning, Enabling & Development at Homes England @HomesEngland 


Dan is a chartered town planner with over 25 years’ experience in local government, working in planning policy and development management, but primarily in building conservation and urban design. During this time, he was also a part-time senior lecturer
in the School of the Built Environment at Birmingham City University and has been a visiting teacher at Centre of Urban & Regional Studies, University of Birmingham, for 25 years. He now works for Homes England as a senior specialist in the Planning, Enabling & Development team. He is involved principally in the agency’s design quality assessment work.

Dan contributes to several, Midlands-based design review panels. He is a longstanding member of the Urban Design Group and an affiliated member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. He has been a Corporate Member of the RTPI and on the Regional Activities Committees for over 20 years, helping to establish the West Midlands Urban Design Forum, and was an inaugural member and past Chair. 

Sponsors & Partners of the event