Creative City Makers

Charles Landry thinks deeply and writes eloquently about the formation of cities, and in his book The Art of City-Making he summarises his research into the characteristics, attitudes and qualities of admired city-makers. This is the list:\r\n

    \r\n

  • An ability to cross boundaries and think laterally
  • \r\n

  • The ability to pick out the essence of a professional position and to see how it relates to other aspects
  • \r\n

  • Practical and open to new ideas
  • \r\n

  • An openness of thinking and willingness to hear other things
  • \r\n

  • To be able to listen and hear
  • \r\n

  • Open to suggestion and challenge
  • \r\n

  • To be able to bring out the best in others, to facilitate, to draw together arguments and attitudes
  • \r\n

  • People who know their place, have walked its streets, can feel what it is like
  • \r\n

  • A sense of vision combined with realism , a patience garnered from having experience, a mix of drive and focus on the nitty-gritty, a tenacity to see things through.
  • \r\n

\r\nLandry goes on to point out that people with these qualities can be found inside and outside the urban professions. Creative city making is not an exclusive professional club.\r\n\r\nLooking at it from the perspective of my own institution (the Church of England) that has every square inch of every city in the UK covered by a parish, and in some way therefore by a priest responsible for the spiritual and well being of that area, these qualities of city and place making described by Landry need to be found in more individuals in more dioceses and parishes if the church is to contribute to creative city-making and to help build a deep sense of settlement and connection within city boundaries.