Press & Comment

Call for Entries: Places for Life II

Entries are now open for Places for Life II.

The Design Commission for Wales invites submissions of abstracts of up to 400 words for written reflections and/or articles on the theme of Places for Life for inclusion in a new publication as a follow on to the first Places for Life conference.

Held in 2016, the conference explored the connection between the places where we live and our health, well-being, relationships, access to work, social life, and impact on the environment. It brought together a multi-disciplinary group of professionals to engage with the subject and challenge the status quo.  The conference was followed up with a publication capturing post-conference reflections and key messages from the speakers, workshops and discussions, which can be found here.

We now encourage submissions from designers, planners, developers, surveyors, policy and decision makers, academics, artists, authors and others with an interest in what makes a great place to live and the difference that where we live makes to health, happiness and wellbeing.

The submission may be a reflection on the last four years since the Places for Life conference, research findings from studies that you have been involved in, new ideas, fresh perspectives or case studies.  It may relate to the current COVID-19 context but does not have to as we are looking for a range of perspectives on different aspects of placemaking. It could relate to a conversation, an idea, a shift in practice, or a change of thinking. Images, diagrams and illustrations to accompany the text would be welcomed.

Abstracts and essays may be submitted in English and/or Welsh language. Joint authorship is allowed. You may enter more than one abstract. All abstracts received will be reviewed by the Design Commission for Wales, and a range of proposals will be selected for inclusion in the publication. Abstracts will be judged on the merit of their critical response to the theme of Places for Life, clarity of structure and expression, and their potential to stimulate and contribute to the debate.

Authors of selected abstracts will be asked to submit text of no more than 3,000 words with relevant illustrations to be included in the publication which will be made available on Design Commission for Wales’ website.

Jen Heal, Design Advisor with the Design Commission for Wales said: “These are unprecedented times; never has the need to think and plan for the future of our places been so important. Placemaking is at the forefront of planning policy in Wales through Planning Policy Wales 10 (December 2018) and there is growing recognition of the long-term impacts of the places we make and the need for quality places not just quantity of houses.

“As we adapt to the new normal enforced on us by Covid-19, and think about what the future might hold beyond this period, it is important that we work together to promote good placemaking and build back better. That’s why we are inviting you to join the discussion by contributing to a Places for Life II document.”

Abstracts must be submitted to the Commission by Friday 3rd July 2020.  Selected authors will be announced by Friday 17th July 2020. Completed essays should be received by Design Commission for Wales by midday on Friday 7th August 2020. The selection and editorial decision of the Design Commission for Wales is final.

If your article is chosen to be included within the Places for Life II document, you will receive a copy of the publication and be profiled in future Places for Life activities.  Please contact Jen Heal, Design Advisor at the Design Commission for Wales if you have any questions and submit your abstract to Jen at the following email address:



Places for Life: Design Commission for Wales Conference 2016

Where we live affects how we live and how we live affects everything else including our health, wellbeing, relationships, access to work, social life,  and impact on the environment.  Wales needs more homes and the future of residential development in Wales must be about more than just the number of ‘units’ that can be built – it must be about creating thriving ‘places for life’.

DCFW’s Places for Life conference will explore the interrelationship between mobility, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, placemaking and the important role of a clear vision in creating great places to live.

We are pleased to welcome the following speakers:

Keynote speech | Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs

Happy neighbourhoods, placemaking and mobility systems | Marten Sims, Senior Design and Engagement Specialist, Happy City

Drawing on the research undertaken and presented in the 2010 publication Happy City, Marten explores the powerful connection between urban design, place-making, mobility and happiness.

Delivering healthy homes | Ashley Bateson, Partner & Head of Sustainability, Hoare Lea

Ashley discusses the role of procurement and management in the delivery of healthy homes, including:

  • An overview of UK-GBC research on health and wellbeing in the home
  • Designing for comfort and wellbeing
  • Getting procurement and delivery right
  • The role of management

A vision for life in Cardiff Bay | Mark Hallett, Development Director, igloo Regeneration and Victoria Coombs, Architect, Loyn & Co Architects

The developer and architect of the proposed Porth Teigr residential development in Cardiff Bay will cover how igloo’s FootprintR policy has influenced the scheme in the context of a mixed-use masterplan and the importance of a vision for new homes based on a micro/macro design approach, the needs and aspirations of its future residents and research into “how we live now”.

Why it pays to invest in placemaking | Susan Emmett, Director of Residential Research, Savills

Creating great new places requires a dynamic mix of amenities, retail, employment, education and public realm as well as housing. Susan will focus on what is required to make the sums stack up financially for developers and landowners.  By drawing on experience in a number of case studies, Susan will look at what works, examine existing barriers and suggest potential ways forward so everyone wins.

There will be a choice of interactive workshops:

Applying Happy City’s holistic wellbeing framework | Marten Sims, Happy City

Strategic planning and placemaking | James Brown, The Urbanists

Developing a vision for places to live | Mat Jones, Coombs Jones Architects

The event will also provide space for discussion, debate and the exchange of ideas across sectors and disciplines.

By understanding the impact of design on the health, happiness and wellbeing of residents, those who shape the built environment, including planners, urban designers, architects, leaders and developers, can play a lead role in creating better value and better places.

Join us and expect to engage, question, debate, think and contribute.

Book now tickets £98

(Student tickets £45, limited places)

Eventbrite - Places for Life - DCFW Autumn Conference


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