Baltic Creative’s Managing Director, Mark Lawler, was interviewed by WIRED as part of their November article: ‘The Great Opportunity: Redesigning Cities for a Sustainable Future.’

In partnership with Capita, WIRED convened leading experts from business, urban planning and design to explore opportunities for the future of the UK’s urban landscapes. Against the backdrop of complexity and challenge, the experts shone a light on the unprecedented opportunity that lies ahead – the opportunity to rethink cities, to reflect on what they’re for and to consider how they might be re-energised for a more sustainable post-pandemic world.

Mark spoke about the role of art in the urban environment, highlighting the transformational role artists play in making city centres attractive, referencing street art in the Baltic Triangle, the music scene in Manchester and the theatres of London’s West End.

Mark also championed the role of local communities to help focus on the right initiatives and overcome roadblocks, saying:

“The people who are impacted by these decisions have to be engaged in the process. We have to talk seriously about getting more power and resources into our local economies — the ability to make a decision can only be made if you’ve got the resources.”

The value of ‘cluster development’ in urban regeneration is something we at Baltic Creative are passionate about. Mark spoke to WIRED about his experience of this and how innovation happens when people from different disciplines meet in ‘clusters’ leading to collaboration, innovation and multiple benefits. He added:

“Small is where the real opportunity is. Get it right locally, and then multiply it across the UK.”

Read the full article here, which includes insights from Robert Fleming of Capita, Usman Haque of Umbrellium, Space Syntax, Transport for London and Design Council. 

Original article published on WIRED UK on 24.11.2021.