A Place For Words: Introduction for Regeneration and Urban Design Professionals

Working with the right writer at the right time and in the right way can make a powerful contribution to the process of making our UK towns and cities better places to live, work and play in. A Place For Words outlines the different ways creative writers can work alongside urban design and regeneration professionals, delivering work that engages with and informs the process of planning and developing new communities, and regenerating existing ones. The options in the menu (left) outline how working with creative writers can help achieve your aims, give suggested models of working, case studies of successful projects, and offer tips and suggestions to help get you started.

UrbanWords has spent the last two years researching and considering the role creative writers can play in the process of regeneration. We are passionate about the potential for exciting and innovative work in which writers can work with communities, places, and those driving the change and improvement of places, to facilitate real communication, discover connections, and ultimately contribute to making those places more attractive and desirable places to live, breathe, work and play in.

The scope of UrbanWords' work, and this piece of research and thinking, is not broad enough to address all of the issues of cultural regeneration and the role the creative industries play in the regeneration of places and communities. Our focus is specifically on writers engaging with particular places and the people who live and work there. It is not just about writers slotting into the role of public-artist, to place well chosen words in well chosen places, it is about the writer taking on a social role: to question, to listen, to converse and to articulate. Most of all we are interested in well-planned interventions that happen at a time of change. Regeneration is about change and transformation, and so is writing, with its bedrock of metaphor, narrative, and language that makes us look afresh at our world.

We hope you enjoy exploring this web resource, and that it offers food for thought and practical advice on making things happen. Please feel free to get in touch via the blog or email if you have any thoughts, comments, or would like to discuss something in more detail.