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City Looks For New Design Input

People with an eye for design are being sought to inject ideas into the way Coventry will look in the future.

Representatives of local groups or organisations concerned with the development of the city are being invited to join the Coventry Design Forum.

New members are being looked for to help project the city forward and play an active part in influencing the future.

The forum, meets four times a year and currently has around 150 members from business, voluntary sector, schools, transport and city council contacts.

Andy McGeechan, from cycling group CYCLIC, said it was a good way of sharing ideas and developing a common purpose about the city. He said:

"Being part of the forum has a major benefit in that we are able to hear first hand about developments or projects planned for the city.

“This gives the forum members the opportunity to listen to the rationale behind the developments and the chance to discuss and contribute our own ideas or thoughts, which are then fed back to the city council.

“Grassroots organisations, such as ourselves, can only benefit from getting this insight into the whole design and planning process and it also provides an excellent link direct to the city council, who we've found are willing to listen to the wide range issues being raised."

The forum has been around for two years and has played a part in developments such as the city square designs and the Phoenix Initiative.

Previous speakers have included representatives from the city centre lighting designers Speirs and Major, Complex Development Projects, which is involved in the Phoenix Initiative, and the Spon End Forum.

Cllr Dave Batten, Cabinet Member (Development and Renewal) said the council is keen to get more people involved. He said: 

"This is an excellent opportunity for Coventry people to contribute and influence the content and quality of projects taking place in the city.

“People are passionate about their city and how it may look in the future, as I am.

“By listening to people's thoughts, ideas and encourage their contributions, we can deliver developments and projects in the city which reflect professional opinions and also consider the views, concerns or ideas of local people raised through the forum."

Along with other local authorities, the council has been told by the government to produce better and more locally relevant design policies and guidance.

John McGuigan, Strategic Director for City Development, said members of the forum would have a role in developing this guidance:

"We all want to see and build a vibrant, accessible city that people can feel rightly proud about and build on the recent successes within the city.

“Coventry as a city has a diverse range of groups and organisations connected to the design and image of the city, many of whom can bring a positive and dynamic contribution to the Forum and help us to draw up the necessary guidelines.

"I would urge those people to get in touch with us and help us to build a Coventry that puts us on the map and delivers high quality, accessible projects that will help regenerate the city and raise Coventry's profile in terms of excellent urban design."

The next meeting of the Coventry Design Forum is due to take place in December.

Anybody who wants more information about the role of the forum can contact Andy Telford, Principal Urban Designer, City Development Directorate, Coventry City Council, on (024) 7683 1266, or e-mail

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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 15 Sep 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM