Canterbury Creative and Cultural Quarter

6 December 2004 | blog, cities, place making, public realm, strategy, tourism

Canterbury city centre at night
Canterbury City Council commissioned yellow book and WMUD to carry out a concept study of a proposed creative and cultural quarter in Canterbury. An emerging Canterbury Creative and Cultural Quarter has been identified in the area west of the Cathedral, which already contains some the city’s key cultural assets, including the New Marlowe Theatre and the Beaney Institute. This historic part of the city already has a distinctive character and sense of place, reflected in its independent retailers and growing evening economy, but it is also facing new competitive challenges from the Whitefriars development, which will shift the centre of gravity of activity in the city centre.
Canterbury city centre
The creation of a successful CCQ is not simply an urban design project. It is about bringing the area’s cultural assets, businesses and people into register to create an appealing whole place experience. Nevertheless, cultural quarters require the right physical framework: a permeable, legible urban form; places for events and activities; opportunities to eat and drink outdoors; and good quality buildings, new and old.
Canterbury city centre shops
The study will be carried out in two stages – firstly we will test the concept of establishing a creative and cultural quarter in the designated area, based on an assessment of the area’s assets and attributes, and a review of market conditions; at the end of this stage we will present an interim report, setting out a recommended strategic proposition; the report will form the basis for discussion at a partner/stakeholder workshop

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The second stage will develop the concept through an overarching strategy for the CCQ, which will set out priorities for action. These will include an area-wide urban design strategy and detailed proposals for key sites, as well as an action plan (with outline costings) and a recommended delivery mechanism.

More information about the outcomes of the study is available here.

Canterbury Photogallery:

Willie Miller, the founder and principal of WMUD, died on 12th January 2021 after a short illness. Willie was a much-loved husband and father and had a huge circle of friends  and professional colleagues. He was a multi-talented urban designer whose work had a major impact on hundreds of cities, towns and neighbourhoods throughout the UK and over the past 25 years. He also worked in Ireland, the Channel Islands and the USA.

Ines Triebel has been with WMUD since 2005, and she will continue the practice, drawing on her skills as a planner and designer. Ines has worked on place strategies, masterplans, policy guidance, regeneration and development frameworks, and the design of public realm and streetscape projects. She has extensive experience of working with communities, including charrettes.

WMUD will continue its long-standing strategic partnerships with Benton Scott-Simmons, Nick Wright Planning, Kevin Murray Associates, icecream architecture, yellow book and others. Please direct inquiries to Ines at [email protected] or contact any of the practices named above.