Another Farrell Review-inspired ‘urban room’ set to open with support of the Coventry Society

Every town and city should have a physical space where people can go to understand, debate and get involved in the past, present and future of where they live, work and play. The purpose of these Urban Rooms is to foster meaningful connections between people and place, using creative methods of engagement to encourage active participation in the future of our buildings, streets and neighbourhoods.

We were pleased this week to hear from the Coventry Society who contacted us to tell us that they are in the process of setting up an urban room within the city. Civic Voice has been campaigning for real community participation in the planning and design process through early, inclusive, collaborative methods for some time now through our Collaborative Planning publication, and we are supportive of practical tools such as urban rooms to help communities to engage with their local built environment. It got us thinking! How many of are you aware of the Urban Room Network? This is a great organisation for civic societies to be inspired by!

The Coventry Society have often spoken of the need to showcase the urban environment, its parks, streetscapes, architecture, historic sites, its transport and other areas that affect our daily lives. They are now delighted to report that Ian Harrabin, the businessman behind Fargo regeneration and many other heritage schemes, has made available the former Coventry Evening Telegraph building, as a pop-up venue for use as a temporary exhibition space.

A number of stakeholders across the city, including the Coventry Society have bee working towards an exhibition that will kick-start the project to see a Coventry get an urban room. It will feature displays on the quality of our city centre post-war architecture and planning; work carried out these last weeks by students at the School of Art and Design along with art provided by ex-Warwick University graduate Luke Bryant now working for London architects; and a CET images project that will provide a fascinating look back through projected pictures, to the days when Telegraphs were produced at the Corporation Street offices.

Learn more about Urban Rooms here.

We are​ aware that York, Doncaster and Hereford Civic Trusts ​are also currently exploring Urban Rooms at the moment and are engaged in the  Urban Rooms Network​,​ but is any other civic society? We would be keen to know!

We would be interested to know if other civic societies would be interested in this area as we are sure we can get the Farrell Review author, Max Farrell along to a workshop to talk more about it! Max is the Chair of the Civic Voice Design Awards. 

Urban Rooms were a recommendation made by the Farrell Review - for every village, town and city to have an urban room where people could go to understand the past, present and future of their place. You can visit to find out more.