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The future direction of towns and cities is often a controversial subject tackled traditionally by local councils, interest groups and developers via pubic meetings and exhibitions. The use of blogs, Flickr groups, tweets and forums by architectural centres and councils is limited to say the least which is why it’ll be interesting to keep and eye on the developments at Arc in Hull in Northern England.

Arc is a CABE funded architecture centre that promotes excellence in the built environment by running professional and public learning programmes, exhibitions, debates etc and they have just started a blog looking at the future of Hull.

Hull is undergoing a major architectural facelift, but sometimes it looks like the developers are having an identity crisis; does Hull try to compete with other towns by creating a sprawl of high tech steel and glass buildings at the risk of turning the town into a generic contemporary city? This has started a debate about what is Hull-ness?

In a city that has an unfairly negative stereotype as the grimmest of grim northern towns Arc want to identify the unique social, cultural and architectural character that should be reflected in all new developments. The blog is at an early stage but there are plans to take the project to the local community and schools.

With the addition perhaps of a Flickr group for residents to take photos of the parts of Hull they like/don’t like and use of other digital tools this could be the start of an interesting debate on the future of a historic town.
is worth keeping an eye on…

Image thanks to Jez.Atkinson on Flickr

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