Headlines

Saturday 23rd November, 2019
Friday 22nd November, 2019
Wednesday 23rd October, 2019
Wednesday 9th October, 2019
Friday 20th September, 2019
Tuesday 27th August, 2019
Tuesday 2nd July, 2019

4x4 Manchester 2019

Friday 22nd November, 2019

It's been a whole month since our extra special 4x4 Manchester event "Sin City?" took place at Fairfield Social Club!

4x4 Manchester is a series of fun and challenging talks about cities, which we usually hold on four consecutive Wednesdays each year, with four speakers at each event (hence 4x4). This year we decided to do something a bit special, holding one big event to explore the morality of urban growth. This felt like a pertinent topic for Manchester in 2019, where every day more cranes decorate the skyline, and we all navigate the benefits and challenges that come with the investment and rapid change.

Our main speaker was Olly Wainwright, The Guardian's architecture and design critic, who sparked off the debate early with his punchy and much-shared article "Welcome to Manc-hattan:how the city sold its soul for luxury skyscrapers" - well, we did say we welcomed strong opinions! Olly's article, published the day before the event, turned what had already been a high level of interest into a complete sell out, with guest list requests from local journalists and even the BBC.

On the night we welcomed around 250 people through the doors, and attendees were able to enjoy the delights of the FSC bar and our local food vendor before the talks began. This packed venue provided an incredible atmosphere in which to launch URBED+, our new innovative partnership with Manchester School of Architecture for research, advocacy and education.

Olly gave a fun, incisive and challenging presentation, picking up and expanding on the themes of his article. This was followed up by short statements from our three carefully selected responders:

  • Shelagh McNerney - independent built environment consultant, who previously held senior roles at Manchester and Salford City Councils
  • Ola Alade - graduate surveyor for NHS property services and pro-growth advocate
  • Jane Brake - artist, writer and filmmaker who, among other things, explores the impact of development on public housing

These statements became the starting point for a lively panel debate, expertly curated by Chris Fox, Professor of Evaluation and Policy Analysis at MMU who took a series of audience questions and provocations.

After some passionate exchanges attendees were able to make a welcome return to the FSC bar for reconciliatory drinks!

If you were not able to attend the event, or if you would like to re-live the fun, you can watch a full video of the event here.

We can't wait to see what next year will bring!

Related projects