The World Town Leaders Summit convened to share thoughts, and fears, about future directions for towns and urban places. Strategies may try and drive futures in one direction. On the ground, the feeling may be different. Aligning views on big decisions for collective futures is, increasingly, a major challenge. And where you start start matters.

At the heart of alignment is understanding, recognising the experience of others, and tackling issues directly. The World Towns Framework invites discussion around common interest, to build understanding, for better alignment around futures.

The anticipation of what might be unlocks imagination, excitement, passion and fear. The architecture of experience is not just the physical design of spaces and places. It is the way we build in invitation, permission, welcome, engagement and retreat into the very way of the space.

A rock on a beach can be a kingdom for a child. So too can a patch of grass on a park for a grown up. Design is vehicle to translate possibilities into experiences. Deep understanding of people informs design which is responsive, sensitive and focused on the human condition.

Simple places can enable profound experiences, like the kitchen table enables the richness of family life. Great places understand the conditions to enable deep experiences. It’s not all about the magazine cover. 

Source: Diarmaid Lawlor, Head of Urbanism, Architecture and Design Scotland

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