Join our Black Country Panel

Help us build a 21st century garden city in the West Midlands

The Black Country LEP is seeking built environment experts to join an assessment panel for its Black Country Garden City initiative, which will be managed by DSE.  People with a wide range of skills and experience are needed including architecture (particularly housing design), landscape architecture, ecology, urban design, planning, engineering, highways and street design, public health and sustainability. A connection to, and/or enthusiasm for, the Black Country will be an advantage.

The Black Country Garden City is an ambitious initiative to increase the quantity and raise the quality of new housing in the Black Country. Promoted by the Black Country LEP and supported by the four local authorities of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton as well as housebuilders in the private and social sectors, it sees the Black Country as a new type of 21st century garden city, based on the transformation of an existing urban area, rather than a new settlement in the countryside. The idea for Black Country Garden City came from DSE’s Head of Design Advice, David Tittle when he was working for MADE in Birmingham. He gathered together a group of professionals who through a series of open studios, worked up the concept and submitted it for the Wolfson Prize.

As part of the initiative the Black Country LEP is developing an accreditation system for new housing developments. It wants to designate the best new housing schemes in the area as Black Country Garden City Developments.  Accreditation will get new developments noticed, by the media and the public. It can be used in their marketing. It will provoke discussion and raise aspirations.

Accreditation will be carried out by a panel of experts, assessing schemes against 10 Black Country Garden City Principles. This is not a design review panel, initially its only role is assessment, but the role of the panel may evolve and panel members may be asked to provide advice and support to the Garden City initiative in other ways. An honorarium will be paid for attending panel meetings.

D:SE is recruiting and managing the panel on behalf of the LEP. For an application pack please contact info@designsoutheast.org or call 01634 401166.  The deadline for applications is 4th September 2017.