Interviewing Matthew Walker and Rachael Orr, Chair & CEO of PlaceShapers, at today's annual conference reminded me of the importance of place based regeneration that enables communities to flourish and the power of telling these authentic stories well.

Three themes that came across to me were:

  1. Focussing on the need for wider regeneration when it comes to creating communities where people can flourish. Rachael talked powerfully about her role as a commissioner on the No Place Left Behind report with Toby Lloyd, which identified the need for greater local connectedness, autonomy to invest at a local level and the need to support declining neighbourhoods
  2. Delivering on the Levelling Up agenda: Matthew spoke clearly about the priority of making some clear progress with government towards delivering levelling up in practice for our communities over the next year - continuing the discussion with the forthcoming PlaceShapers Bright Blue report
  3. Listening to residents at all times so they are at the heart of decisions - powerfully delivered through supporting residents as they feed into future RSH consumer regulation and understanding residents' priorities, under Net Carbon Zero.

Speaking powerfully together, I am convinced PlaceShapers and its members will continue to play a crucial part in shaping the national debate on placemaking and creating thriving communities.