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Future Place Open Call Bradford - Diverse community-led placemaking

Future Place Open Call Bradford - Diverse community-led placemaking

06 June 2019

The commission

To identify innovative ways to engage with and consult the diverse and young communities in the process of refreshing and updating Bradford’s future vision and strategy for the City Centre (see the City Plan below) to reflect current circumstances and new opportunities.

The critical challenges and opportunities to address in the process and output are:

  • engaging local people over the coming years in debate about the past, present, and the evolving vision for the future of the city - with diverse communities of children and youth in particular (Bradford is the youngest city in the country)
  • supporting active local participation in the co-production of public spaces, buildings, streets, and neighbourhoods
  • taking into account the analysis and principles in relevant planning documents (Bradford City Plan Prospectus and Bradford City Centre Area Action Plan)
  • drawing on relevant best practice examples from elsewhere (UK, Europe, and beyond) to learn from and test good practice in public engagement
  • working in collaboration with the local authority as client, presenting ideas and findings to the Future Place programme

The final output

The final output will take the form of an illustrated community engagement strategy to feed into the process of updating the 2015 ‘City Plan’ and 2017 ‘Area Action Plan’. The strategy will map out the stakeholders, timeline, and implementation process, which might include the appointment of a consultant team or assembly of an expert panel. It will include a proposal for an initial intervention or actions to kick start the process.

© John Cade


Born out of the industrial revolution, Bradford has a rich cultural heritage and a city centre that’s ripe for regeneration. It has a strong history of new communities settling and creating prosperous, happy lives, and there is real strength in the diversity of its people: who speak more than 150 languages and benefit from an abundance of international connections. Bradford is also home to the youngest population in England; unlike other cities, it has space for redevelopment, and opportunities to repurpose buildings.


The City of Bradford District Council has a strong vision to transform the city centre by creating new homes and economic opportunities: to attract and retain young and diverse communities, and enable new and sustainable ways of living. The Council is taking a ‘bottom up’ approach to ensure that people remain at the heart of the transformation. The Future Place programme offers an opportunity to kick start the process of updating the 2015 ‘City Plan’ and 2017 ‘Area Action Plan’ (which in turn updated the original 2003 Masterplan by Will Alsop), to reflect the changes and challenges Bradford faces, both now and in the future.

Next steps for Bradford

Work is currently underway on producing a masterplan for a new ‘City Village’ and a ‘Housing Design Guide’ document, which will set out what is expected from new developments. The Council is committed to cross-sector collaboration to maximise placemaking opportunities and secure long lasting, meaningful change. There are major opportunities in the area of the city centre for regeneration and significant future investment in infrastructure, including:

  • the ‘Top of Town’ on the northern side of the city centre was until recently a vibrant retail area, but a combination of factors have left it struggling and in need of a new role
  • on the southern edge of the city centre a 100 hectare area (currently dubbed the ‘Southern Gateway’) has been identified as a major regeneration opportunity for housing and employment growth, in response to the proposed location of a future Northern Powerhouse Rail station in this city sector
  • the city centre’s two existing stations are subject to multi-million pound investment plans to explore opportunities for wider regeneration and growth around them, as well as the prospect to link in with a potential future mass transit system

Find out more about the Future Place Open Call.

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