The Roaches looking south

Results of the Urban Vision Stakeholder Survey

In May Urban Vision did an online survey to find out what kind of services our stakeholders and partners think Urban Vision should offer that would most benefit North Staffordshire. 

91% of people replying were aware or very aware of Urban Vision.  Just over 2/3 of respondents knew that Urban Vision has an organisation which operates nationally (Urban Vision Enterprise), in addition to the Urban Vision North Staffordshire charity. 

Not surprisingly people were most aware of our traditional range of services, such as design review, training and community engagement projects, but more than half knew about some of our more recently developed services, such as supporting local communities to produce neighbourhood plans.  There was less awareness of work areas such as training for local authorities, environmental education projects, project development and preparing funding bids, and responding to government consultations.

In answer to the question of what issues in North Staffordshire are currently not being addressed, responses identified the need for

  • regeneration in many inner urban areas, and particularly to deal with the problems left by Renew’s abandoned housing pathfinder programme;
  • a community-focused organisation to take the lead in re-using redundant historic buildings;
  • sustainable refurbishment of traditional housing; and
  • well designed buildings and public spaces to make sure these needs are met.

Possible future projects for Urban Vision

To tackle these issues people thought that Urban Vision should take the lead in developing the following kinds of projects and initiatives:

  • Community-led initiatives for the re-use of local heritage assets;
  • Community-led initiatives for locally controlled, sustainable housing developments;
  • Neighbourhood Plans for the city and town centres of North Staffordshire;
  • Training for local authorities on neighbourhood planning and urban design;
  • Promotion of the positives qualities of North Staffordshire – as a place to live, to work and to visit;
  • Influence decision-makers to require higher standards of design and to engage positively with local community organisations.

The partners that people thought Urban Vision should be working with to deliver these projects included local authorities, community groups, housing associations, MPs, professional membership bodies (RTPI, RIBA, etc.), academic institutions, English Heritage, Arts Council England, enlightned developers, and media organisations.

Some specific ideas for action suggested by respondents included:

  • Explorer opportunities for partnership working with Staffordshire University’s Creative Communities Unit and Office of Sustainability;
  • Develop Neighbourhood Plans for the City Centre, the University Quarter, and the town centres;
  • Discuss partnership working opportunities with organisations that have a shared agenda;
  • Improve publicity for the work of Urban Vision;
  • Develop a range of projects and programmes with Staffordshire University that support the transformation of top 10% most deprived communities;
  • Set up an online database of professional and community organisations for community development, architecture and design;
  • Increase the take up of design review and extend the service to areas outside North Staffordshire ;
  • Explore possible new products and services in partnership with higher education institutions involving create digital technologies, gaming, augmented reality, etc.
  • Organise a TEDX type of event to raise the profile of our work internationally.

Respondents thought that Urban Vision should use its national connections to promote the merits of North Staffordshire as a location for research projects and as a venue for the committees of national bodies, to promote the idea of a pilot project in eco-retrofitting of traditional housing, to promote urban regeneration, and as a location for housing growth.

Next Steps

Urban Vision intends to actively explore how we can take forward people's suggestions.  As a first action we will update the objects of Urban Vision North Staffordshire (the charity) and Urban Vision Enterprise (the community interest company) to include an enhanced community focus and to widen our remit to incude the direct delivery of regeneration projects.  Our developing work with Fenton Community Association is an example of this. 

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