Create Streets – Development, design and planning consultant
Do you …?
Do you care passionately about where people live? Do you believe that the role of community and residents needs to be prioritised in deciding what we build, where and how?
Do you love the traditional city scape, a strong sense of place, mixed communities with a diversity of residents and a blend of work and play? Do ‘could be anywhere’ developments make you despair? Do you worry about what we are currently doing to London?
Would you like to be part of a small but influential and prize-winning social enterprise which has attracted support from across the political spectrum, which has been described as ‘wonderful’ (Alain de Botton), ‘brilliant’ (Central Acton Neighbours’ Forum) and as one of ‘the 50 radical-thinking individuals and organisations changing the UK for the better” (The Observer and Nesta UK)? Would you like to work with an organisation which is influencing borough, London and national policy on housing and helping communities on the ground with popular design and development?
If the answer to the above questions is yes then the following opportunity might be for you.
It’s a unique chance to influence policy and practice in the built environment through a combination of ‘hands-on’ community engagement, research, urban design and policy impact. As Alan Baxter, the Director of Alan Baxter Associates put it:
“What you are doing is totally right and, very importantly, right for the time in which we live. You’re there at the beginning of a new wave of thinking”
About Create Streets
Create Streets is a social enterprise which conducts ground-breaking research into associations between different types of building and popularity, wellbeing, long term economic value and density. We study different planning systems. We campaign for policy change. We work with communities. We also help public bodies, developers and landowners put our research findings into practice. According to Sir Simon Jenkins, former Chair of the National Trust, ‘Create Streets speaks London’s language.’ Our core argument is that more conventional development;
- would be more popular, thus reducing resistance to new development;
- is demonstrably better correlated with good wellbeing outcomes;
- can easily provide the density we need to address the shortfall in housing supply; and
- is actually a better long-term investment.
We also believe that the UK planning system is fundamentally flawed in design and systemically fails to mediate between what gets built and what people actually like in the built environment. This can be fixed by more effectively and genuinely empowering local people (we call it ‘Direct Planning’), thereby undermining resistance to new development and thus helping to solve the housing crisis. The key question for politicians is not ‘how do we build more homes’ but ‘how do we make new homes more popular.’
To date, Create Streets has published five major reports and a range of shorter essays. These have achieved a real impact on opinion formers and on government, London and opposition policies. As Sadiq Kahn, Mayor of London, said of our prize-winning work at Mount Pleasant: ‘This is a great example of how big developments should work – working with local communities to design real neighbourhoods that work for the existing community.’ We have given evidence twice to the GLA Planning Committee and given many talks to London boroughs, to industry groups or at universities.
Our research has also generated significant media coverage, including to name but a few, coverage in The Economist, The Times, The Guardian, The Evening Standard, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Telegraph, The New York Times, The New Statesman, Private Eye, Architects’ Journal, Building Design and coverage on BBC News and ITN News. You can read more about us at www.createstreets.com.
We have been getting bigger with a rapidly growing number of community groups public sector clients and landowners wishing to take advantage of our research and our work. We therefore need to find the right person to join our small and dedicated team.
Role: development, design and planning consultant
This role is about flexibility and variety. There is probably no other equivalent role in the UK development, surveying, design and policy worlds which has quite the same variety of intellectual, commercial and design components. You need to both want to and be able to turn your hand to a wide range of roles.
As appropriate given your expertise and experience, key components of the role will include;
- Running or supporting research projects into; (a) support for different typology types in the built environment; (b) correlations between built form and wellbeing / value / density; and (c) the economics of development;
- Helping deliver neighbourhood plans, community right to build orders and planning applications for communities, public sector clients and ‘patient capital’ investors.
- Helping deliver urban design and development consultancy to a varied client base (community groups, local authorities in and beyond London, landowners and developers);
- Supporting the preparation and dissemination of policy papers on aspects of planning and housing policy to national government, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and local government;
- Carrying out research that will support discussions with politicians and senior officials to help them improve policy to support more development which is more popular and better for residents;
- Liaising with local authorities, community organisations and landowners;
- Helping organise events and workshops; and
- Analysing and understanding the construction, whole life and valuation economics of varied development options – particularly in the long term.
Depending on the strengths, experience and skill-set of the right candidate we expect to be able to ‘dial-up’ or ‘dial-down’ different elements of the role as appropriate.
Necessary skills and characteristics
- Need to know QGIS, R or SPSS and SQL;
- Leadership potential and desire to learn;
- Strong interpersonal and relationship/network building skills;
- Inquisitive and creative thinker with proven numerical and analytical abilities;
- Good relationship-building skills with the ability to establish effective professional and working relationships with people of all working styles and backgrounds;
- Able to present professionally to clients, and to act diplomatically across party political affiliations;
- Flexible, able to turn hand to a range of tasks and skills;
- Knowledge of British planning system and/or development industry and economics;
- Keen to work in a small but very strongly committed team;
- Interested in public policy as well as planning and built environment;
- Passionate about built environment and its capacity to promote greater wellbeing through beautiful and popular design;
- Broadly in support of Create Streets aims and values;
- Meticulous attention to detail when drafting or editing documents;
- Very good command of written and spoken English;
- Ideally though not necessarily possessing relevant vocational qualifications above all a qualified Architect, MRICS, or MRTPI.
Experience and qualification
- You are likely to have one of two academic backgrounds;
- Either your first degree is likely to be in a subject like Geography, Economics, English or History with a relevant subsequent Master’s Degree in Urban Design;
- Or you are professionally qualified as an Architect, Chartered Surveyor or Town Planner (ideally MRTPI or MRICS).
- However for the right candidate with the right skills, energy and enthusiasm we expect to be flexible;
- Possibly 6 months experience in a real estate or town planning environment;
- Prior professional experience in consulting and policy analysis is a plus;
- Knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop is a major plus.
TBD depending on applicant. Salary will be based on a 37.5 hour working week.
Part time or full time; to be discussed.
Based in London, near Oval tube station, zone 2. Requires frequent travel across London and occasional evening commitments.
What to do if you’re interested
If you’re interested in this position, could you please send a brief letter (setting out why you think you would want and be excellent for this role) together with a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.