Such a fantastic idea! The Urban Rooms Network regroups physical spaces in various cities and neighbourhoods in the UK, where citizens can get informed and involved in where they live and work.
Every town and city should have a physical space where people can go to understand, debate and get involved in the past, present and future of where they live, work and play. The purpose of these Urban Rooms is to foster meaningful connections between people and place, using creative methods of engagement to encourage active participation in the future of our buildings, streets and neighbourhoods.
Not all the members of the network seem to be as interesting as that description though, some seem to be interesting citizen groups but not necessarily with an actual urban room, while others are nudging pretty close to some variation on a chamber of commerce. However it’s still a really promising model that should be explored elsewhere, and there are a few strong examples, first and foremost Live Works in Sheffield who do have an active room and founded the network.
Our ground floor shopfront hosts a changing programme of events, exhibitions and activities, providing opportunities for members of the public to learn about, contribute to and debate the past, present and future of Sheffield’s built environment.
Live Works is the first permanent university-backed urban room in the UK and we were the founding members of the national Urban Rooms Network. The network’s members include community groups, local councils, civic societies, universities and arts organisations. We are part of the Place Alliance, a campaigning organisation that promotes the value of well-designed buildings, streets and spaces that enhance the quality of life for all.