City Organizer: Kim Cooper
Walk Leaders: Andi Herring, Matt Biagetti, Gerry Proctor
Text by: Kim Cooper
Photographs by: Nick Power
Liverpool has always been a city of radical thinking; it embraces pioneers like Jane Jacobs, who are prepared to say, “There is a better way.” Our three walks provided an opportunity to explore how Jacobs’ work is influencing the development of Liverpool, and to see specific ways in which her ideas and concepts are being executed.
The areas where the walks took place – the Baltic Triangle, Hope Street and Stanley Street Quarter – are included in the “Distinctive Neighbourhoods” project in the Liverpool City Centre Strategic Investment Framework (SIF), the document guiding the next 15 years of development in the city. This project highlights the importance of developing unique and vibrant districts, each with a clear identity and an actively engaged community.
Andi Herring, project officer for Stanley Street Quarter, gave a passionate and knowledgeable tour of Liverpool’s LGBT district. On the Hope Street walk, led by Matt Biagetti, Area Investment Manager for Liverpool Vision, one attendee shared the story of how he met his partner on a blind date in the Everyman Theatre Bistro over 10 years earlier. When Gerry Proctor, MBE – community campaigner and chair of Engage Liverpool – led walkers on an informative tour of the hidden secrets and beautiful ambition of the Baltic Triangle, one of the places we visited was the Baltic Fleet Pub. The great-great-grandparents of one of the walkers, we learned, had lived and worked in the area many years before, and would likely have drunk in that very pub. Hearing these stories from local residents was a highlight; it really helped to bring the city’s past to life.In total, almost 80 people attended the walks, showing the passion and interest of local people in the development of these areas – and, perhaps, providing a gentle reminder of the importance of community consultation!