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Leading developers, academics and disruptors to speak at inaugural event bringing the whole placemaking universe together on 9 July

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The bar at Tobacco Dock
The bar at Tobacco Dock

More than 30 leading development industry figures, leading academics and disruptive voices have confirmed they will be speaking or leading hands-on workshops at the inaugural Festival of Place, which aims to bring professionals together to unpick what makes places that thrive.


The programme features groundbreaking talks on climate resilience and biodiversity, investing for social impact, community engagement, designing for families, children and youth, and more.


Described as the Cannes Lions of placemaking, the festival takes place on 9 July at Tobacco Dock in East London, with tickets on sale now. Editor-in-chief Christine Murray has described the festival as a place where “what happens between the sessions is as important as what happens in them.”


Across its content, the festival aims to tackle six “burning” questions facing development including what makes a neighbourhood worth living in; the future of downtown; climate risk to investment; the inclusive and equitable city, as well as the Smart City and data ethics.

Murray says the festival is unique in the market for the diversity and inclusion of its speaker line-up, which include scientists, researchers, developers, citizens, young people, community workers, architects, consultants and architects.


Sessions include groundbreaking talks from Dr Patrice Derrington, head of Columbia University’s real estate programme, Tim Tompkins of the Times Square Alliance, on-stage interviews with leading figures such as Sir Stuart Lipton and Dan Labbad, and interactive ’Placehacks’ where participants are invited to roll up their sleeves and get creative with organisations such as the Design Council and Urban95.


“I wanted to do something different with the Festival of Place, and you can see from our incredible speaker line-up that this isn’t like any other event in the built environment sector.


“It’s an unmissable event when it comes to the people you’ll meet and the quality of conversation that will take place.”


“A lot of people have told me in this sector that they want us to tackle real issues and be a forum for the conversations other places avoid. We’re a challenger brand and this event will inspire the industry while informing. And our cross-disciplinary audience, from government to developers and designers, creates a forum for us to collaborate and tackle the future together.”


In addition to the speaker line-up, projects shortlisted in the inaugural The Pineapples awards will also be presented to a live audience at the festival. “It’s a chance to hear about some of the great projects happening today.”“If you love our magazine and the articles we’re publishing, you’ll love the festival,” Murray says.


Confirmed speakers for the Festival of Place include:

  • Sir Stuart Lipton, Partner, Lipton Rogers Developments LLP
  • James Saunders, Chief Operating Officer, Quintain
  • Rachel Fisher, Deputy Director Regeneration and Infrastructure, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Dan Labbad, CEO, Lendlease, Europe
  • Sue Riddlestone OBE, Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Bioregional
  • Dr Patrice Derrington, Holliday Associate Professor and Director of the Real Estate Development Program at Columbia GSAPP
  • Anne Power, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Head of LSE Housing and Communities
  • Chris Brown, Executive Chair & Founder, Igloo
  • Giles Barrie, Senior managing Director, FTI Global Consulting
  • Ian Rigarlsford, External Affairs Manager, Ecology Building Society
  • Tim Tompkins, President, Times Square Alliance, NY
  • Tom Chance, Director, National Community Land Trust
  • Sarah Weir, Chief Executive, Design Council
  • Sue Morgan, Director of Architecture and the Built Environment, Design Council
  • Nitasha Kapoor, Anthropologist and Social Researcher
  • Dinah Bornat, Founder, ZCD Architects
  • Adrian Voce, President, European Network for Child Friendly Cities
  • Patrin Watanatada, Knowledge for Policy Director, Urban95
  • Francesca Brown, Founder, Girls4Football
  • Andre Reid, Founder, Kiondo
  • Nick Tyler, Chadwick Professor of Civil Engineering, University College London
  • Elizabeth Rapoport, Director of Research and Advisory Services, Urban Land Institute Europe
  • Nii-Ashie Adjaye, Founding Partner, Walulel
  • Patricia Brown, Director, Central
  • Araceli Camargo, Director of Lab, CentricLab
  • Chanuki Illushka Seresinhe, Research Data Scientist, Alan Turing Institute
  • Christine Murray, Editor in Chief, The Developer
  • Joy Nazzari, Founding Director, dn&co
  • Bob Allies, Partner, Allies and Morrison
  • Paul Monaghan, Partner, AHMM
  • Cannon Ivers, Director of Landscape Architecture, LDA Design
  • Clarisse Tavin, Group Manager Major Programmes and Projects, City of London Corporation
  • Basil Demeroutis, Managing Partner, Investment Committee, FORE Partnership
  • Simon Crichton, Food Farming and Trade Team Manager, Triodos Bank
  • Bridget Snaith, Partner, Shape Landscape Architecture
  • Akil Scafe-Smith, Founder, Resolve Collective
  • Emma Warren, Author, Make Some Space: Tuning into Total Refreshment Centre
  • Danny Keir, Global Head of Business Development, Sound Diplomacy
  • Nick Gadsby, Anthropologist
  • Robin Howie, Founder, Fieldwork Facility

Tickets to the festival are on sale now. Buy them here.


For more information, or to book a corporate pass, contact

Festival of Place

How do you create cities that thrive; where people want
to live, work, play and learn?

Don't miss the Festival of Place on 9 July

Book your ticket now

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