Where Will Our Grandchildren Live?

Throughout the month of October the Academy of Urbanism ran a lecture series on the the theme of “Where will our Grandchildren Live?”
The events were held between the cities of  Sheffield and Leeds and ran in conjunction with the region’s leading universities.

With the Leeds and Sheffield City Regions expected to increase in population by well over half a million people in the next 25 years (and over a million people in the next 50), the events posed the question: where do we want to accommodate everyone?  Moreover, with successive governments talking about Eco-Towns and then Garden Cities and New Towns to try and meet some of the demand, what are the region’s real choices? What are the options to accommodate this growth and what are the postive and negatives of each?

2nd October 2014

Dr. Paul Chatterton

University of Leeds / LILAC (Low Impact Living Affordable Community)

“Our grandchildren can have access to homes which are permanently affordable, super insulated and have a low impact on the environment, are safe and beautiful places to live and are democratically controlled by the residents. But to make this happen we need to sow the seeds now for a community led housing movement across the city-region. The Lilac project and this talk is part of attempts to build this movement.”

Corinne Swain OBE
Former Director and Head of Planning at ARUP. Now ARUP Fellow: Planning

“Settlement structures change very slowly. So most of our grandchildren will live in cities. But where? In London, if current trends persist, or more optimistically in a well-connected constellation of northern cities. How can our cities be transformed to offer economic opportunities and attractive residential environments for young and old alike?”

David Rudlin
Director, URBED
Wolfson Economics Prize 2014 Winner

“My grandchildren (the first of whom is due next week) will hopefully live in housing that they will have helped to design using little or no energy and allow for flexible lifestyles. The location will depend on their age and whether my great grand children have arrived, but probably won’t be in a car-dependent suburb which will be seen as increasing unsustainable.”

Natalie Bennett
Green Party Leader

“Our grandchildren must have comfortable, affordable homes that use little energy. Work, study and leisure opportunities must be largely reachable by walking and cycling. A lot of food must come from nearby.
Decisions about their communities must be largely taken locally, with democracy something they naturally get involved in. But technology will ensure contact with people and communities around the globe.”


9th October 2014


Paul Miner
Senior Planning Officer
Campaign for the Protection of Rural England

“Our grandchildren will live in a country with millions more new homes built since 2014. Our country will remain largely open and green, with only about one tenth of all our land taken up by development. The majority of new housing will be built on brownfield sites in urban areas.”


Philip Barnes
Group Land and Planning Director
Barratts Developments

“Britain pioneered the introduction of a land use planning system with seminal acts of parliament in 1919 and 1947. We are now unique in Western Europe in preventing the growth of our powerhouse cities because of our strict urban containment policies. The economics community speaks as one in recognising that future economic growth will come via the agglomeration benefits delivered by cities. The time has come for the planning profession to follow the lead of Germany and Holland by unleashing a wave of sustainable new extensions to our key cities.”

Toby Lloyd
Head of Policy
Wolfson Economics Prize 2014 Runner Up

“If things do not change our grandchildren will grow up in increasingly overcrowded and squalid private rented homes, forced to move repeatedly and paying most of their income in rents. We urgently need to build more homes, in all tenures, to bring the dream of a home of your own within reach of ordinary people”

Chris Thompson

  • “The current model of housing provision is stuck
  • We need to change current conventions in development
  • Sustainability is key
  • Design is key
  • Cities are key
  • We need a collaborative approach between cities and developers/designers
  • Cities need a bold ambitious vision that inspires
  • Developers need to innovate and provide inspirational designs and solutions”

For more information visit the 4X4 website.

Sponsors: Spawforths, Counter Context, Hobs Reprographics, Gateley, Leeds Beckett University, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, ARUP, Harworth Estates, Litton Properties Group, RTPILandscape Institute Yorkshire & Humber.