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Creating Sustainable Communities
Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities


05 What are sustainable communities?

13 How can students play a key role in

shaping sustainable communities?

25 What skills contribute to

sustainable communities?

29 Further advice and information.

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Your community is changing The Academy for Sustainable Communities

Have you noticed any changes in the neighbourhood where
you teach? What changes are occurring in the places where The ASC will work with others
your students are growing up? Maybe have you seen a local
estate become an unattractive and unsafe place to live? to deliver the cutting edge
Has your local town become so popular that it is difficult skills and knowledge needed
for people to buy a house or to find a job? Or do you live
in a rural community where the services available to you to make better places for
are either lacking or disappearing?
The students that you teach and their families want to live
people now and in the future.
in a community that is attractive and inspiring. They want
The Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC) is a
to be able to walk home from school safely, they want easy
national and international centre of excellence for the skills
access to high quality services and they want to live in a
and knowledge needed to deliver sustainable communities.
place where they can learn skills and interests to develop
themselves as individuals and so that they can get a job We work with three specific sectors, one of which is young
when they finish school. people. Our work with young people is centred on capturing
their interest and enthusiasm for involvement in sustainable
They want to live in a place that is vibrant, regenerated,
communities to demonstrating the many ways in which they
maintained, will respond and adapt to climate change and
can get involved personally and professionally.
will be sustainable in the future.
Creating a better place to live… Our objectives in working
In 2004 the Deputy Prime Minister invited Sir John Egan to with young people are to:
undertake a Skills Review to establish the skills required to • Capture pupil interest and raise their awareness of
deliver the Government’s sustainable communities agenda. sustainable communities issues and encourage them
into sustainable community careers;
The Egan Review highlighted the quantitative skills gap
and the need to encourage more young people into the • Raise knowledge, awareness and understanding of
sustainable community professions including planning, sustainable community issues, encouraging interest
surveying and architecture. Qualitatively, we need young among young people in the sustainability of their own
people to emerge from compulsory education with softer local communities;
skills such as listening, communication and teamwork. • Foster skills of citizenship and a care for young people’s
These skills are vital in building sustainable communities. own communities.
• Develop teaching and learning resources that help
teachers and pupils understand more fully the learning
and employment opportunities and skills needs for
sustainable communities and place making.

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

How is this booklet useful to teachers and students?

Young people should have a role in shaping their communities In section two you can find out about the career opportunities
– they have the potential to influence and affect the places involved in sustainable communities and how your students
where they live, play, study and eventually work. As a teacher can access these occupations. Read the profiles from
or learning professional, you can enable them to take control professionals in the sustainable communities field, such as
by providing information, advice and guidance on what a a Town Planner, a Community Development Manager and
sustainable community is and the career opportunities and a Conservation Officer.
pathways they could take to shape their future villages, towns
In section three explore the generic skills needed to build
and cities.
sustainable communities.
This publication has been produced by the ASC as your guide
Finally, in section four you can find further advice and
to sustainable communities. It contains lots of practical ideas
information on a host of partners who are helping to deliver
on how you can motivate students to get involved in shaping
sustainable communities. Throughout the guide you will find
their local community and includes useful information such as
practical tips and ideas for activities such as role plays, topics
real life case studies, teaching resources, lesson planning ideas
for debate, projects and competitions that you can encourage
and handy website addresses.
your students to take part in.
The guide has been divided into four sections. Section one will
help to further your understanding of sustainable communities
and provide real life case studies where young people have
played an active role in shaping where they live.

What are
Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Definition of sustainable communities

Sustainable communities meet the diverse Ideas for the classroom...

needs of existing and future residents, their Scan the Egan Wheel into your interactive whiteboard
programme or onto an OHT to help explain how the

children and other users, contribute to a parts of the Egan Wheel go together to make sustainable
communities. Create a mind map of ideas on how to
improve aspects of each part of the wheel. Or, why not
high quality of life and provide opportunity encourage your students to use their own local area as a
model, applying each of these components to the places

and choice. They achieve this in ways that they live in. Ask students to take on roles (role play)
within their local community but more importantly get
them to look at how they interlink with each other to
make effective use of natural resources, make sustainable communities. Take your students on
a walk around their local school community. Encourage

enhance the environment, promote social them to observe and identify the services and features
of their local area. Give the students a checklist where
they can score how well the area is doing on the eight
cohesion and inclusion and strengthen components and identify which components need

economic prosperity. Come up with an action plan on how to make your

local community sustainable. Put your students into
Source: The Egan Review: eight groups, one for each component. Develop their
Skills for Sustainable Communities 2004 problem-solving skills by asking them to come up with
realistic and affordable ideas for improving the area.
The Egan Review identified a common goal of creating they contain a lot of information. However, this diagram is Follow the activity up with a debate between groups or
sustainable communities and identified seven key components designed to help you and your students understand what even get them to write a letter or an email to their local
which must be addressed to achieve the goal. The sustainable communities are without the confusion. MP, council member or newspaper on ideas for changing
Government has accepted this model, with an addition or improving their local community.
How it works: the inner ring identifies the eight components;
of an eighth component – ‘fair for all’. You could get started by photocopying the picture
the middle ring describes these in more detail; and the outer
The diagram (right) illustrates the eight components of ring translates what each of the rings mean into student- resource on the next page to highlight how different
sustainable communities. The illustration is often referred friendly language. Examples are provided to make the content interest groups in the community can be a part of
to as the ‘Egan Wheel’. of each component more accessible to students. creating sustainable communities and get students to
discuss how they could get involved in improving their
A sustainable community is made up of eight components. To plan, deliver and maintain sustainable communities it is own area.
Students can often find diagrams like this overwhelming as essential that all components are addressed.

Well designed and built
The Egan Wheel

A sense of place (e.g. a place

with a positive ‘feeling’ for A
people and local ct
distinctiveness). Buildings are
r A ve
attractive, safe and useful to Pe co
s pe iv
& , In
the people who use them.
f ta o in op m
g jo le m Sa cl
Buildings that people want to
bu or mnda ple
Ne f in i ar uni fe us
go into. Lots of open space u e iv
sin o rd in
he b e re s th
a ig n n a ty
e e
o spe lp usi sse pe of e c for people to play and relax. fa othenothhbo drai ven lwa spir
lif pen nd imp nes s c op livin om cr irly r. er ur sin ts ys it i
e t r s r le m
op and . Thup s hei ove es. eate , ang fo un s
im . T Al , a l g, (e w s
po ha ey m r w o Su m d r m ity ef be e, d he l pe nd ook fes .g. elcocrea
fe ha r re o re o tiv sp m te
Lo rtu ve ar all ag the cce or be or . ct v u a p s u a o e d
ca ni a e e bu es r p ss e j tte e fri ive iou gs a re l le a pec t fo ls). rts, to .
l p ty go n sin lo eo ful ob r
s en an r w nd ow re t e r o
eo to od cou es ca pl dl d it a l tre ac n
pl m q ra se lly e’s
Housing & Built y co h nt ev a h e
e ak ua g s to po m vi i- e te
ha e li ed an
Environment lic m ab soc ls o d
ve m ty to d So in un le, ia f
g. it l
th one of
e y Cu ci y-
l al
om tu &
y ra
Equity l
Well Run


future generations.
sense of civic values,

Fair for Everyone

responsibility and pride.

People of all ages, races,

The community enjoys a
decision-making process.
about a community, local

jobs and education in the

When decisions are made
people are included in the

En C
cultures, sexes and abilities

community. This fairness is


not a luxury; it is normal to

to provide opportunities for
everyone. This fairness lasts
are given access to services,

vi Tr onn
an ec
e li Ac
nm sp tiv
wa ncomat tiv
e en or it
w t u e ly ta en
t& y
bu as er, l rag cha se c
de i te
lt e e iv ed n e Services
o t ge k
ancars our a
an stro ne n wlec in h o re (e. to m a n d . T ag nd
h d r h e
(e d g yed w f as tric om cy g. p ini in elp beedu ere saf cyc
c c e
gr .g. b ree ). Core te laity a es cle eop mis Th lud peo twe e d are lo ling
pl aff y ne re st/ n nd tha an le e
ea it re r a fi d d
e ing ple en ep fa cal .
to the whole community. tra p t c en ci w
sa i, a du ne te eld so tha t do sa are
nt nd ci igh cle s th t n ve advice) that are accessible
ns ub o t om de liti alk
En pu m ng bo an are at are ot utilities, information and
po lic rav m nc es in
vi bl ai lit ur er, no W rt tr el un e to g
r fresh food, commercial,
ic nt te ho s el fa an w iti on
cil sp ith es
Se on sp ain r a o afe private services (e.g. retail, lC iti o in
ns m ac in nd ds r community, voluntary and es rt,
es g on ,
iti en
v ta ). of affordable public,
lly childcare). A good range ct
(including early years ed
families and children
High quality services for

Well Served
Creating Sustainable Communities
Making Places:
Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Ideas for the classroom...

Group work: divide the class into eight groups and
allocate one component from the Egan Wheel to each
group. Students can discuss what their component
involves and then feedback to other groups.
Class discussion: encourage students to talk about
how a development project would encourage
sustainability under each component. Do any of
your students live in communities where these things
happen? How is it affecting their local environment
and quality of life? Is it for the better? How has it
affected them?
Ask your students to look at the people on
the next page. Which of them live in sustainable
communities? Which of them do not live in
sustainable communities? What are the reasons
for these choices?

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

I wish I lived in a community In my community the transport I wish there was an

where we could be involved in services help me and my family ‘After School Club’ that
making the decisions. Im sure get where we need to be! Clean my children could
that would give us all a sense and reliable rail services help my attend so that I could
of pride and responsibility. daughters to get to school safely, get a job at the new
a door-to-door bus service picks local call centre that
up Dad on time so I don’t need has opened in our area.
to worry about how he’ll get to
the day centre and there are plenty
of parking spaces available when
I need to go shopping.

In our house we hate In our local community There weren’t any shops
cleaning our rooms but we everyone has the or businesses on our
love making sure our house opportunity to take part housing estate until the
doesn’t hurt our environment. in the decision-making community lobbied the
I am in charge of sorting out process. For example, council. Now we have
the cardboard, tin cans and we have a young five new shops where I
waste food into boxes for people’s forum where can sell local produce
recycling, and I’m in charge we can have our say on and the community don’t
of turning off all the lights what happens on have to travel miles to
in rooms when we’re not specific community the shopping centre on
using them! projects. the other side of town.

We now have a great school that we In our community we have

helped design. The architects met regular meetings where we
with all the students who would be come up with ideas for activities
moving to the new school, plus for the whole community to take
everyone living in the local area, to part in. For the last few months
decide what it should look like and we’ve been planning a ‘Battle of
how we would want to use it. The the Bands’ festival which is being
project was a success because we all sponsored by our council. It will
learned how to work well with each take place next month so we are
other. We now have a fantastic place hoping that the weather is hot -
to come and learn in. just like our music!

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Case study: The Beacon and Old Hill Estate, Cornwall

A difficult place to live… of the project is due to a strong working partnership between
A superb example of a successful transformation of a place local people including young people, health professionals, local
into a sustainable community is the Beacon and Old Hill teachers, police and housing officers. In 2003 the project was
Estate in Falmouth, Cornwall. Back in the early 1990s the honoured with a Queen’s Jubilee Award and the Deputy Prime
estate suffered an incredible amount of deprivation. Picture Minister’s award for Sustainable Communities. “People now
this: a hillside with rows and rows of dark, gloomy terraced have a new respect for the estate,” Grenville said.
houses and flats, crammed together so that nobody had any
open space or privacy. A place where disadvantaged families
struggled to survive.
There were many social and economic problems. More than Here is an Forming the
half of the homes lacked central heating, eight out of ten local illustration, using BCRP allowed local
people to be included in
men were unemployed, cases of mental health problems were the Egan Wheel,

by d e
decision making.

e pe tr

Tr eas fer
increasing and crime in the area was rife. Families openly of the positive

5 0 to
im el en


m sa
af ur ro
cr s h y c

fic es ad
battled over drugs, appalling cases of animal cruelty were changes that have

ce tie nit

ca led s.
du ivi u
identified, domestic violence was commonplace, many been made in the

lm t
re act mm

in o
children were placed on the childprotection register and

case study area.

primary school children were found drunk on the streets. The

Well Run

fe siv
conditions on the estate had an impact on people’s health with

sa lu
& , inc


W ect
increased incidences of asthma and post-natal depression



amongst mothers.

and more space created

Improved street lighting

requests of local people.

Well designed A
safer infrastructure.


community fun days

met the needs and
Things start to change…

Introduction of
In 1995 the residents decided to fight back and demand help

& built


to save their community. Grenville Chappel (who was born on Communities
the estate) became chairman of the newly formed residents
association, which became part of the Beacon Community

ve all
Regeneration Partnership (BCRP). The BCRP successfully

iti nt

ns e
se onm
won a grant of £1.2 million to improve the infrastructure
Co ou ote m ities me



m th g d l un fo nt.
on the estate. Immediate improvements included better

ol o lte ted
Fair for

m ro ea ity r

fu sid in
lls ’
bi nts
om co rtun plo

un u rn a fu

eh n t su la
home insulation and the implementation of traffic-calming

d re d

us tio re su

el e
ity p in nd tur


ho uc ses r in
measures. A community spirit that hadn’t been seen for years
ce acti g in
po em

d u e
nt vit th

re ho ett
began to grow.
re ie e

an s
Community activities
“People realised that we were actually getting things done.

encouraged community
They saw that we, as local residents, were listening and they members to plan
began to believe in us,” explained Grenville Chappel. Further

for change.
improvements to the estate included a skateboard park, youth
groups and a community centre. Crime in the area has more
than halved and people feel safer in their homes. The success

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Teacher Resource
Why not use the case study on Beacon and Old Hill to
introduce your students to an example of how sustainable
communities are created? You could also photocopy the
table below, which shows some of the key statistics and
facts relating to improvements in the area.


Ideas for the classroom...
Crime Crime has halved by 50%, violence and vandalism reduced. Using the case study on Beacon and Old Hill:
Develop student’s reading sub-skills with the case
Education Pupil exam results have improved, e.g. the number of study: ask them to scan for a particular piece of
10 and 11 year old boys achieving NC level 4 has doubled. information or read for detail to extract problems
and solutions.
Health The Beacon Care Centre has been built providing health Focus on literacy: students could structure their
checks for the over 65s, physiotherapy sessions and a reading by highlighting specific words and issues in
family planning service. different colours such as problems, solutions, nouns,
verbs and adjectives. Introduce them to the
categorisation of information.
Accidents The number of childhood accidents has fallen by 50%.
Design a role play: organise students into groups
such as local school children, an unemployed man,
Energy efficiency 900 homes were insulated and 300 more homes have
a mother with post-natal depression, the police,
central heating.
a health expert, a person who lives next door to
families fighting over drugs, etc. Get them to think
Community safety A Neighbourhood Watch scheme was introduced, about the issues facing these people and the feelings
additional street lighting put in place and communication they may experience.
with police improved. If you have the facilities in your classroom, encourage
students to use the internet to research this case
Community activities Parent-toddler groups, luncheon groups, community fun study further at www.bcrp.carrick.gov.uk
days, coach trips and garden competitions were set up.

Creating sustainable communities is about taking into account a whole range of factors and components which improve
the quality of life for everyone within a community, creating opportunities, positive change and a sense of ownership
within those communities.

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Sustainable communities and the national curriculum

Have a look in your copy of the national curriculum and
Subject Suggested Activities National Curriculum Description of National
you will see that promoting the awareness of sustainable
Reference Curriculum Criteria
development amongst students is a central part of many
subject requirements. Sustainability is a cross-curricular
concept and is central to four statutory subjects: Citizenship, Citizenship Design a role play (pg 5). 1b, 1f, 1g, 2a, 2b, 2c Knowledge and understanding about
Geography, Science and Design & Technology. School Works Poll (pg 17). 3a, 3b, 3c, 2a, 2c becoming informed citizens. Selecting
Set up volunteering (pg 17). 1f, 1i, 3a, 3b, 3c and applying skills, tactics and
However, teaching sustainable communities can also be National Political Journalism 1c, 1d, 1e, 1h, 2a, 2b, compositional ideas. Developing
applied to subjects such as English, Maths and History. Competition (pg 17). 3a, 3b, 3c skills of enquiry and communication.
Teaching sustainable communities is an excellent means for Log on to BBC (pg 17). 2a Developing skills of participation
you and your department to ensure that you are meeting your and responsible action.
national curriculum requirements. Look below for a quick
guide to how teaching about sustainable communities can Geography Design a role play (pg 5). 1d, 1e, 1f, 2a Geographical enquiry and skills.
help you meet these requirements, with a spotlight on some Use case studies in Making 1a, 1d, 1e, 2a, 2d, 3a, Knowledge and understanding of
of the activities featured in this guide. Places as examples of 3c, 3d, 5a, 5b places. Knowledge and understanding
sustainable development of patterns and processes. Knowledge
(pg 12 –14). and understanding of environmental
Climate Change Champions 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1f, 2a, 2f, change and sustainable development.
Award (pg 17). 3c, 3d, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b

Science Set up an enquiry to examine Sc1 - 1a, 1b, 2a - 2p Scientific enquiry - Sc1.
and evaluate your school building: Materials and their properties - Sc3.
materials used – do materials change Physical processes – Sc4.
over time (weather) and do they
harm the environment?
Investigate the sustainability of Sc2 - 1a
energy-saving adaptations to
new housing.

Design & Set up an enquiry to examine 1a, 1d, 1f-h, 2a, 2b, 3a, Developing, planning and
Techology and evaluate your school building: 3e, 4a, 6a, 6c communicating ideas. Evaluating
materials, structure, function for products and processes, materials
students and appeal. Make an action and components. Knowledge and
plan for improvement. understanding of systems and
Choose a local structure and have a 1a, 1d, 1f-h, 2a, 2b, 3a, control and structures. Knowledge
trip outside the classroom – students 3e, 4a, 6a, 6c and understanding of structures.
can investigate characteristics and Knowledge and understanding of
properties of materials used. materials.

How can students
play a key role in
shaping sustainable
Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

To create sustainable communities we need to increase This next section will provide you and your students with an
the number of students entering sustainable communities insight into the careers and occupations that help to support
occupations and increase the amount and quality of generic the development of sustainable communities. There are a Ideas for the classroom...
skills to close the skills gap and the occupational shortage. range of careers involved in making sustainable communities.
Why not photocopy the information and case
The diagram opposite illustrates how these careers are
Increased recruitment will create a drive to improve study examples on pages 18-23 to introduce
categorised into core and associated occupations, and
participation in projects that will regenerate and sustain, your students to some of the careers involved in
community engagement.
creating more opportunities which will spiral in a positive building sustainable communities? Let them read
cycle. We also need to encourage young people to take an Students may be interested in finding out more about core what makes these professionals passionate about
active role in their communities now, generating passion for occupations such as architects, engineers and town planners. their jobs.
protecting and improving their local community. Read on to They may also be keen to enter an associated occupation.
Contact your local architect or town planning
find out how you can help your students get involved… Help them learn more about the exciting opportunities available.
service and organise a guest speaker.
Everyone is part of a community with its own individual
Visit www.architecturecentre.net and www.rtpi.org.uk
characteristics. Creating these different communities and
to find local contacts.
making sure that these places continue to meet the needs
of those who live, work, study or play in them involves a You could organise a visit to a local project taking
wide range of occupations. place close to your school or maybe even set up
some work placement shadowing days so that
students can step into the shoes of a qualified
‘Core’ occupations professional. Use the resource list on the back page
An illustration of the for a wide range of useful contacts.
occupations involved include people who spend almost all of their
time in activities to do with planning, delivering
in making sustainable
and maintaining sustainable communities, or
communities. their involvement is critical to the success of
those communities.

‘Associated’ occupations Sustainable ‘Community engagement’

include people whose contribution Communities includes a wider public group
is extremely important to successful who often require information
delivery, but who are not involved about sustainable communities,
full time in planning, delivery or the issues, and details
maintaining sustainable on where to go to obtain
communities. further advice.

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

How the occupations contribute to sustainable communities

A mind map is a good way of illustrating how
the core and associated occupations contribute
to sustainable communities.

Police officers
Crime support
Members of Local authority
Local Strategic elected members
Law and officers

Regeneration Implementers Core Associated

leaders and decision occupations occupations

Communities Built environment
and associated
Community professionals

Planning system’s
statutory consultees
Contamination and (e.g. British Waterways,
reclamation specialists English Heritage, etc)
Community (brownfield)
Professional /Neighbourhood
community and wardens and
voluntary workers Community Support Recycling and
Wardens refuse disposal

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Be involved in something that makes a real difference...

The following example is an excellent introduction for Look at the opportunities available…
students to help them understand how lots of different
Grange Park Community Project is one of many sustainable
occupations and local groups can contribute to creating
communities projects where a wide range of people were
sustainable communities.
involved in making things happen. Let’s look back at the
Case study: Grange Park groups involved:
Community Project, Blackpool Core occupations:
In the early 1990s Grange Park was one of the most rundown • Architects
areas in the UK. People living there were faced with many • Planners
social problems such as increasing anti social behaviour, low • Urban designers
employment rates, poor diet and related health problems. • Local Authority workers
In 1997 Blackpool Borough Council launched the Grange • Landscapers
Park Community Project with the aim of finding a solution • Surveyors
to the problems to create a better quality of life for residents.
Associated occupations:
Many people were involved in the project and it was the
• Teachers
co-operation between local people and professionals that
• Health professionals
made the project a success.
• IT professionals
Local authority workers, business managers, planners and • Business managers
local residents were involved in deciding what changes were
needed. Local residents worked closely with architects, urban Community engagement:
designers, landscapers and surveyors to redesign the buildings • Careers advisers
and open space in Grange Park. Teachers, IT professionals, • Media
careers advisers and media experts were involved in the • Local residents
creation and operation of a primary school and a City
Learning Centre with a library, IT suite and TV training studio.
Local residents took advice from health professionals and
introduced a healthy eating café on the estate.

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Town Planner Profile

Overview of the role Salary ranges
Town planning is about managing and developing urban The average salary for a young planner is £24,000. For
areas in order best to serve present and future generations. a principal planning officer or team leader, this rises to
Planners contribute to work in housing, conservation, £35,000. Senior development managers receive £45,000.
economic development, environmental education, At the top of the scale, a regional project director might
recreation, sport, tourism, transportation, and community earn £80,000.
development. Planners assess local applications for new
buildings or changes of use to existing buildings, and check More information
the implications of such developments. Find out more about careers in planning and download
a brochure on the profession from the Royal Town
The planner’s job is to analyse and understand conflicting Planning Institute, which also has a full list of accredited
demands and to advise on the best options. Planners can university courses:
specialise in urban design, environmental sciences, social www.rtpi.org.uk
issues, management, development, and related fields. There
are also support roles for administrators, enforcement
officers and planning technicians.
The skills and experience you need
You need academic training to meet the membership criteria
of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). The standard
route into the profession is three years of undergraduate
study followed by one year’s postgraduate study, leading to
a diploma or master’s degree.
After finishing their studies, graduates undertake two years
of experience culminating in a written assessment known
as the Assessment of Professional Competence. Once the
assessment is passed, graduates qualify for membership of
the RTPI, allowing them to describe themselves as chartered
town planners.
Likely types of employer
• Most planners work for local authorities
and government offices
• Planning consultants
• Large development companies

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Michael Burrell Can you describe a typical day?

Senior Planning A typical day usually involves working on a wide variety of
Policy Officer projects and answering phone and email enquiries. The job
Norwich City Council is predominantly desk-based, though it also involves site
visits, attending meetings and conferences and doing
Why a town planner?
community consultations and presentations to schools.
I’ve only been a planner
for six years. I used to The content of the work is varied, interesting and important
teach English to foreigners. – it covers key topics in promoting sustainable development.
I studied geography and For example, at present I am working on a supplementary
history and then went to planning document to promote energy efficiency and
live in Spain to teach. Then renewable energy in new development. I am also working
I came back to England to on a project promoting co-operation between medium-sized
do a planning qualification. cities in north-west Europe. The aim is to learn from each
I knew I wanted to work in other to promote sustainability. This involved attending a
a built environment profession. I gained an interest in conference in Paris and it was interesting and informative
planning through doing a planning module as part of my to see the different approaches taken to sustainability in
degree. I felt that through such a job, I could achieve quite a different cities. A third area of work I am involved in is a
lot to improve the environment and contribute to sustainability appraisal of a new type of plan, an area action
sustainable development. plan. The appraisal aims to ensure that the area action plan
will enable the sustainable regeneration of a deprived part
Planning is changing. First, it has moved from a focus on
of Norwich city centre.
land use to more ‘spatial’ planning, which means integrating
more closely with other areas, such as health policy. Second, What sort of qualities do you
there is now a greater focus on working closely with local need to be a town planner?
communities. This should make planning more For policy work, you need to enjoy researching issues.
approachable and accessible to people. You must be prepared to put time and effort into looking
at detail because having a good eye for detail is important
How did you get to where you are now?
as planning is a legal process, and the policy approach you
I took my first planning job at Norwich Council, then
promote will be tested.
progressed to Waveney District Council, and now I’m back
at Norwich. I find working in a city interesting; I like urban You have to have an interest in and knowledge of a wide
issues and the sheer amount of development happening in range of issues, ranging from biodiversity, flood risk and
Norwich at present makes it a very interesting place to environmental protection through to retail and conservation
work. I have always been interested in policy rather than issues. You also have to be diplomatic. There are a lot of
other areas of planning such as development control. I think interests related to the development of land, and you have
it matches my interests and skills well as I am interested in to show you are fair and have considered everyone’s views.
researching issues and in trying to promote sustainability.
What’s the next step for your career?
That’s why I specialise in this area.
I’m staying here for the near future. I’ve only been here for a
year and I’m happy in the job.

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Community Development Manager Profile

Overview of the role Likely types of employer
Community development workers work with local people Local authorities
and community groups to help them tackle local issues and
Housing associations (registered social landlords)
improve their quality of life, often in socially and financially
deprived areas. Voluntary organisations such as homeless projects, faith
groups, women’s groups, environmental organisations, or
It can also mean working alongside disadvantaged or
mental health charities
marginalised groups such as the homeless, long term
unemployed people or ethnic minorities. Regeneration partnerships
The job is testing, varied and challenging. It involves Other statutory bodies such as primary care trusts
identifying communities’ needs and problems; raising public
awareness; building a network of contacts; organising events Salary ranges
and meetings; brokering agreements between opposing Starting salaries range from £15,000 to £19,000; those with
groups; developing strategies for change; managing a limited two or more years’ experience can expect to earn £19,000
budget and fundraising; training volunteers; and writing to £25,000.
reports and general admin. A survey by the Community Development Exchange
The skills and experience you need found that 70% of community development workers
earned less than £25,000 and many employment
Good written and verbal communication skills are the tools
contracts are short term.
of successful community development work. The language
skills of bilingual minority ethnic candidates are highly More information
prized. Teaching, youth work, community work and Find out more about community development at the
experience in the health sector are popular ways into this Community Development Exchange:
career. A degree in social sciences is particularly relevant www.cdx.org.uk
but all graduates should aim to get community project
experience through volunteering. The Community Development Foundation provides
resources on training, research, networks and general
The education and training charity, City and Guilds, offers information on community development:
a Level 2 National Vocational Qualification in community www.cdf.org.uk
development work for those already actively engaged in
their community. Applications for bursaries are considered To get relevant community project experience contact
in June and December. Visit www.city-and-guilds.co.uk Volunteering England:
Postgraduate training is often necessary for promotion to
more senior positions. Relevant subjects include voluntary Information on rural community development can be
sector studies; housing practice; business and community; found at the Department for Environment, Food and
legal studies; public or community health; and social Rural Affairs website:
services management. www.defra.gov.uk/rural/default.htm

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Natalie Robertson When I graduated, I worked for a couple of Scottish You’ve also got to be able to take things on the chin. This is
Community Development charities and then moved to South Leicestershire working the first job I’ve had where there are lots of people shouting
Manager for a council for voluntary service. at you. Sometimes that’s the way that people express their
LHA-ASRA, Leicestershire stress and concern and you’ve got to listen and understand
The breadth of my work experience in regeneration,
their worries and not be disturbed by it or take it personally.
Why are you a community development and the voluntary sector has been
community development invaluable. When I’m working with a group of residents, I’ve You’ve also got to be prepared to take a proactive approach
manager? been there myself. I’ve set up a community group. I’ve got to your work. You need to be out there on the ground,
I didn’t even know the role experience of fundraising and writing policy and procedure, speaking to people.
existed until I became and my current role brings all those skills together.
One of the things I have found particularly useful is to be
active in the community as
Can you describe a typical day? action-orientated. So I listen to others and think how I’m
a resident activist. I’ve
My time is split between direct contact with residents in going to make it happen. There’s no point in putting issues
always had a keen interest
their community and working with partnership organisations aside, you need to think imaginatively about how you can
in making the places where
and colleagues across departments within LHA-ASRA, take things forward.
I live better and when I
which is a large housing and regeneration agency based in
lived on a housing estate in north Edinburgh, I got involved What is the next step for your career?
Leicester and London.
in campaigning and joined various working groups geared I’d really like to get more involved in the project
around improving services for local people. Our role is often as a conduit between the issues that management of regeneration schemes and I hope
residents raise with us and working with other agencies to do that at LHA-ASRA.
Through activism, I ended up working on a community
to get a solution to the problems.
health project and the idea of becoming a community I think it would be really interesting to bring people with
development worker was introduced to me by the other In any day, I could be setting up a consultation event or different professional backgrounds together to work on
community development workers I met. I could be actually rolling my sleeves up and working regeneration projects, and to be part of managing that
alongside residents clearing a piece of land or working process will be good for my professional development
How did you get where you are today?
on a community art project, or helping to complete a as well.
I’ve always been one of those people who gets involved
fundraising application. It’s always fun when you’re working
and I was lucky to live in a part of the city that was very
with communities as you are never quite sure what is going
dynamic. The housing estate in Edinburgh was a social
to hit you. One of the best things that can happen is when
inclusion partnership area so there were constant
you turn out on a spring day to transform a ‘pocket park’,
opportunities that opened up for you as a resident.
and you start the day thinking that you’re almost going to
Initially I worked for a women’s education project, then I be on your own, when all of a sudden 40 people turn up to
moved to set up part of a health project within the area help. That’s a very good day.
while I was at Edinburgh University studying for a degree
What sort of qualities do you need to be a
in community education.
community development worker?
While I was a student I volunteered at a rape crisis centre If I described myself, I would say that I am quite stubborn.
and I also served on various local management committees I think that is something that comes from being a resident
such as women’s aid, a community centre and the local activist. If you are involved in local community work, you
training, education and employment initiative. learn that nothing happens overnight and you have prepared
for the long haul.

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Conservation Officer Profile

Overview of the role Salary ranges
Conservation officers work to maintain the historic or For local authority conservation officers, the salary range
natural fabric of urban and rural areas. Historic buildings starts just below £20,000 and reaches £35-40,000 for senior
conservation officers focus on advising property owners on managers. A director or chief executive of a typical
alterations or improvements to buildings. environmental trust or society earns up to £40,000.
Environmental conservation involves a wide range of More information
activities, from recycling household waste to habitat Find out about careers in environmental conservation at
management. Lantra, the sector skills council for the environmental and
land-based sector:
The skills and experience you need
There are specialist courses in building conservation.
Officers need a wide range of skills, including an To find out about building conservation visit the Institute
understanding of planning, historic buildings, relevant of Historic Building Conservation’s website:
policies and law. www.ihbc.org.uk/index.html
Officers often have a background in architecture, planning, The Conference on Training in Architectural Conservation
surveying, or art history. Most employers are looking both (COTAC) has a list of relevant courses:
for qualifications and experience. A few local authorities www.cotac.org.uk
offer studentships. Voluntary work is a good way of gaining
The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers offers
relevant experience.
voluntary opportunities:
Vocational qualifications are available for careers in natural www.btcv.org.uk/
environmental conservation, from NVQs through to
postgraduate degrees. Apprenticeships are also available for
young people, with funding available through local learning
and skills councils. Again, voluntary work is often a route
into paid employment.
Likely types of employer
• Local authorities
• Private sector consultants
• Lottery funded schemes
• Regional or national bodies, such as English Heritage
• Environmental charities and civic trusts
• A wide range of specialist organisations employ natural
environment conservation officers

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Paul Hartley site. Within many contracts you have to deal with numerous You also need to be aware of the legal basis of the work, have
Conservation Officer different people at various stages – the owner, the architect, a good working knowledge of the statutory background of
Stockport Council the contractor, and so on. conservation, and knowledge of building design, so that you
are able to debate with other professions the merits of
Why a conservation A lot of the job is finding various ways to say no politely,
alternative proposals, or suggest alternatives yourself.
officer? to get people to go away and rethink.
I followed my interests, You will be cross-examined at public enquiries, so you
We do a lot with grant schemes, finding funding through
particularly in historic need to be well prepared and able to defend yourself.
European aid, the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage,
buildings and historic areas.
the Housing Corporation, and so on. There might also be What’s the next step for your career?
I come from Coventry,
derelict buildings in the area we try to find new uses for. One of the advantages of this kind of post is that there are
which was bombed during
opportunities around the country. The next step would be
the war and lost a lot of its In Stockport there is a strong link between conservation and
another local authority. But I’m relatively settled as my kids
architectural heritage. regeneration. One recent interesting scheme was a privately-
go to school in this area.
owned timber-framed building in the marketplace which had
How did you get to where you are now?
been extensively damaged by fire. The council took it on and
After geography and planning degrees, I worked for Kirklees
found the funding to completely restore it, making it into a
Council based in Huddersfield. I was lucky enough to obtain
visitor centre and museum.
a conservation officer post, so I moved straight into the
profession. That was 15 or 20 years ago. Today it’s very We also tackled a wider block of buildings with a housing
difficult to do it in one step. I was able to pick up a lot of the association, creating new flats and shops. It demonstrated how
knowledge needed to do the job through direct experience. I you can combine conservation with regeneration and make a
stayed at the local authority for ten years, then moved over to major change.
Chester, and now I’m at Stockport. There isn’t a great number
If finding new uses for a derelict building proves a problem,
of conservation officer posts in a typical authority. Some do
we sometimes have to broker a compromise with owners, for
have large teams and you can jump up through the ranks to a
example, allowing selective demolition of buildings on a site.
managerial position, but this isn’t so common.
At the end of the day we have to offer advice to politicians in
Can you describe a typical day? the planning committee.
About half of my day or week will be in the office, half out
What sort of qualities do you need to be a
on site, visiting buildings and property owners, assessing
conservation officer?
applications for alterations to buildings, holding meetings.
Judgement and negotiating skills, diplomacy, enthusiasm,
I give people advice, and also carry out negotiations – energy. On a day-to-day level there’s a lot of phone calls,
sometimes these can get quite complicated if you’re dealing enquiries, visits. You’ve got to be able to prioritise your work.
with a large scheme, such as converting an old mill. We assess You have to try to achieve the highest standards with limited
sample materials proposed for sites, checking this brick against resources of time and control. You have to be quite focused.
that brick, or the pointing on a building, roof material, a shop- Also, you’ve got to be an optimist, to inspire and encourage
front detail – it often gets right down to the nitty-gritty of people to respect or understand what they own.
design.We get involved from early on in negotiations, right
through the application stage, to dealing with contractors on

What skills
contribute to
Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

What skills contribute to sustainable communities?

Creating sustainable communities depends on people having the right skills - skills that are transferable and encourage the wide How can generic skills help
range of professionals involved to work together as an effective team. Some of the generic skills that you can encourage your to create sustainable communities?
students to develop within the national curriculum framework are highlighted below. These are not exclusive - visit the ASC
website at www.ascskills.org.uk to find out about more. Case Study: Lower Broughton, Salford
Lower Broughton in Salford is an example of a place where
change is happening right now. In 2005 community spirit was
at an all-time low – residents suffered from neglect as buildings
were demolished and abandoned, waste land increased, they
Project resolution
were unable to access basic services such as cash points or
management coffee shops and increasing incidents of muggings labelled
Lower Broughton as a ‘no go area’. The Commission for
Architecture and the Built Environment even named Lower
Partnership Broughton as the “worst wasted space” in the UK. A
working within partnership between Salford City Council and Countryside
and between Properties has been formed to create a scheme that will turn
teams based on the area around. The scheme will begin in 2006/2007 and last
a shared sense for 15 years. A budget of £500 million has been set aside to
of purpose improve housing and services in the area. A wide range of
professional groups are working on the project including
schools, housing associations, police, the Home Office, local
Leaders ion businesses and local residents. Effective communication skills
h icat
in susta ip mu
n are essential when delivering massive projects that depend
commu Com on so many groups of people, especially when residents were
sceptical of developers. Key generic skills were needed to
convince residents that this wasn’t ‘just another initiative’ that
Conf lict Partnership would fail to tackle issues that mattered. The Lower Broughton
Project resolution working within Regeneration Partnership was set up to make sure that all
and between
management groups communicate effectively, including residents who would
teams based on not normally be able to voice their opinions.

Ana Sustainabile e a shared sense

of purpose A wide range of professionals and local residents worked
together to make sure the plans made for development would

mak ecision
ning g, C omm u n i t s Analysis, decisio
meet the needs of the residents whilst ensuring sustainability
for the future. Skills such as inclusive visioning, team work,
project management, communication and conflict resolution
mist from mak in
eval akes, Leadership in were a vital part of making realistic decisions about the area
learning from
uati sustainable and sustainable plans for its future. For example, young people
on mistakes,
communities Communication were interviewed and regular meetings, including a Youth
Forum, allowed people to take part in the development of
their community.

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Why are generic skills important for teachers and schools?

A common problem professions face is that graduates
Ideas for the classroom... walk into their new job with the theoretical knowledge and
understanding of how the industry works, but lack the key
Ideas for the classroom…
generic skills needed to make things happen effectively. As teachers we must create a culture of care for our
Discuss with your students what generic skills means,
Skills development doesn’t and shouldn’t have to start in local community amongst our students.
i.e. skills that are required in the world of work and
the job. We believe young people should be given the
are important in all aspects of life. We need to create interest in the exciting career
opportunity to nurture these skills as soon as possible
Using the list to the left, ask students to draw a spider and this can start in your classroom. Why should you as a opportunities in sustainable communities and motivate
diagram of the generic skills that they have using the classroom teacher take responsibility for nurturing these students to become skilled citizens who want to build a
list above? skills? Well there are more benefits than you might think… successful career and take pride in their community.
Here are some simple suggestions on how we can start
Now ask your students to draw another spider Benefits for teachers: teaching generic skills within your the ball rolling.
diagram illustrating where they can demonstrate lessons will better equip students to adapt to a wide range
the generic skills, e.g. teamwork – their role in a of learning tasks. Skilled students are more engaged and Create your own project for change. Identify, plan
music or dance group, or member of a football team. learning outcomes will improve. and make changes to something in your school
community. Organise students into groups taking
Ask the students to work in a small group (4-8 Benefits for students: when students see themselves on important roles which use generic skills. You could
students) to compare and discuss their two diagrams developing new skills and using them to do something or have project managers who develop their leadership
to see the similarities and differences which they make something real it further motivates them to become skills, finance officers who pester the management and
might share with each other. more independent and more successful learners. They will school council for funds, communicators who write for
be better able to identify their aspirations and work towards the school newspaper and generate support for your
In the Lower Broughton case study the young people
them. Students are better prepared for the outside world of project, and negotiators who resolve conflict during
had regular meetings about the changes happening
work. A more skilled applicant has increased career decision making.
in their community. They were involved in a Youth
prospects and options.
Forum. Ask your students to form their own Youth Act it out. Many teachers don’t have the time and
Forum to debate a local issue or change taking place Benefits for the community: motivated youth who are resources to put these ideas into practice. An excellent
in their local community. passionate about using their skills for good will be alternative is to role play the different occupations.
encouraged to take ownership over their learning and Use Monopoly money and one of the case studies in
What are the questions that they would like their local
mould it to improve their own environment. This can start this publication as your context or a case study local
council to answer? What solutions would they like to
in the classroom by developing a keen interest in developing to your school. Have students in groups such as local
see their local council implement?
sustainable communities in the long term. residents arguing for change and local councillors
making decisions on ideas to improve the area.
Groups make their cases, have a class debate and
follow it up with an action plan for sustainability.

Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Community engagement starts in your classroom…

How many times have your students organised a fundraising For example, they could organise an auction to raise money
event yet haven’t really seen where the money has gone? to buy the local football team a new kit. Arrange a
Why not make your fundraising efforts more rewarding? sponsored hip-hop or deck mixing contest to raise money We have reached
What matters to them in the local area? How can they for a music lab in your school, or run a fashion show for a
change it? What activities will motivate them to make the local charity shop? It can also be not only about making the end…but it is
change? It could be anything from organising a campaign to money, but making friends in the community. Do your
save the local post office, youth centre or children’s students have time to take part in volunteering projects just the beginning!
playground. Do something where real benefits can be seen that will help real people? Can they design their own project
and students will enjoy taking part. that will have an impact? Use the website ideas below for Using the information in this booklet may seem a bit
inspiration and why not have a classroom ‘audit’ to find out daunting at first but it will really benefit your students.
what your students are already doing for their communities? Get organised and share the tasks amongst your
department members. Give your students responsibility
for planning, taking the burden and time off you.
Ideas for the classroom... Not only will this empower them to take control over
their own learning but it will also develop the very
You and your students can follow the website links for some inspirational ideas to get motivated! skills we are eager to promote.
Log on to www.need2know.co.uk, a portal dedicated to young people aged 13-19. Here you can find out information Equipping students with these generic skills and with
about lots of issues facing young people and students can write stories and post them on the website to share their a passion for learning about their local place is vital.
ideas and opinions with others. Visit www.jackpetcheyfoundation.org.uk, an organisation which provides grants and The earlier we provide opportunities to generate skills
sponsorship for projects that help young people aged 11-25. A fantastic exercise you could try can be found by clicking and nurture them the more likely it is that students
on www.school-works.org/poll. Students are invited to take part in a national poll to rate their school environment – will transfer these skills to all aspects of their life -
their comments are passed onto government, school planners and teachers. The resource is interactive and would be such as learning in different subjects at school, striving
an ideal activity to use in the classroom. Setting up volunteering placements is an excellent way for students to get towards their career goals and participating in their
hands-on experience in their community and they can have an immediate positive impact. Try www.do-it.org.uk or local community.
www.mvonline.gov.uk/to find volunteering opportunities for your students. Alternatively, why not set up your own
project? Visit www.youth-action.org.uk/ and ask for a youth pack to get ideas on how your students could design their Students with a love for enquiry and creativity are
own project. the very people who will be the leaders of our
sustainable communities in the future. They might
If global warming concerns your students why not encourage them to find out about the Government’s Climate Change be local residents, parents, business owners or
Champions award for people aged between 10-18. Visit www.climatechallenge.gov.uk/climate_ professionals in sustainable communities careers but
champions/about.htm. whatever path they choose, your students are the key
Encourage your students to enter the National Political Journalism Competition – if they win they could be having tea to a better quality of life for our communities and
at 10 Downing Street! Schools can enter multiple teams and it’s an excellent example of a project with a cross- developing their skills now is just the beginning…
curricular emphasis. Visit www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/ to enter. For more information on sustainable communities,
The BBC is encouraging students to become active citizens in their schools and communities and globally. Log on to careers and skills log on to www.ascskills.org.uk
www.bbc.co.uk/schools/citizenx/getinvolved/index.shtml for ideas on how to get involved, ideas for projects and
reports from schools that are already involved.

Further advice
and information.
Making Places:
Creating Sustainable Communities

Further advice and information

The ASC is working with Commission for Royal Town Careers information Publications
a host of partners to Architecture and the Built Planning Institute www.bconstructive.co.uk Education for sustainable
help deliver sustainable Environment (CABE) 41 Botolph Lane development - a manual
communities. Below are 1 Kemble Street London EC3R 8DL www.prospects.ac.uk
for schools
some that can offer you London WC2B 4AN T 020 7929 9494 www.ucas.ac.uk
further advice and T 020 7070 6700 E careers@rtpi.org.uk Suitable for teachers and
information. E enquiries@cabe.org.uk www.rtpi.org.uk www.connexions-direct.com older students, especially
www.cabe.org.uk geography A-Level students.
Academy for Royal Institution of
Sustainable Construction Chartered Surveyors www.rtpi.org.uk/resources/
Communities Industry Council 12 Great George Street consultations/envired/
Round Foundry 26 Store Street Parliament Square manual.pdf
Media Centre London WC1E 7BT London SW1P 3AD Planning for
Foundry Street T 020 7399 7400 T 0870 333 1600 sustainability -
Leeds LS11 5QP E info@cic.org.uk E contactrics@rics.org environmental
T 0870 420 2390 www.cic.org.uk www.rics.org education in action
E enquiries@ascskills.org.uk
Lantra (The Sector Student Force Suitable for teachers
Skills Council for Brewery House and students.
CITB - ConstructionSkills the Environment and High Street
Walker House Land Based Sector) Ketton www.southwest.rtpi.org.uk/
London Road Lantra House Stamford guide/index.html
Riverhead Stoneleigh Park PE9 3TA Working in building
Sevenoaks Nr Coventry T 01780 722072 and construction
Kent TN13 2DN Warwickshire CV8 2LG E sfs@studentforce.org.uk
T 01732 467300 T 024 7669 6996 www.studentforce.org.uk ISBN: 0-86110-867-1
E call.centre@citb.co.uk E connect@lantra.co.uk ©Crown copyright 2003
www.bconstructive.co.uk www.lantra.co.uk www.connexionsdirect.com/
Civic Trust Royal Institute of wibuildandcons
Essex Hall British Architects Making places: careers
1-6 Essex Street 66 Portland Place which shape our cities,
London WC2R 3HU London W1B 1AD towns and villages
T 020 7539 7900 T 020 7580 5533
E info@civictrust.org.uk E education@inst.riba.org A short summary of careers
www.civictrust.org.uk www.architecture.com in the built environment and
how to get into them

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You can also contact North West Yorkshire and Humberside

your Regional Centre RENEW Northwest Integreat Yorkshire
of Excellence who can The Tea Factory Victoria House
provide you with further 82 Wood Street 2 Victoria Place
information and advice on Liverpool Leeds
sustainable communities. L1 4DQ LS11 5AE
T 0151 703 0135 T 0113 394 9982
East of England
E info@RENEW.co.uk
Inspire East For all the latest information
Breckland House South East about sustainable
St Nicholas Street South East Excellence communities, career
Thetford SEEDA Headquarters opportunities and how
Norlfolk Cross Lane you can get involved in
IP24 1BT Guildford the visioning awards, sign
T 01233 484653 GU1 1YA up to receive the Academy’s
E inspire-east.org.uk T 01483 501364 regular newsletter at
East Midlands South West
Regeneration East Midlands Creating Excellence
Unit 8 Provident Works Ground Floor
Newdigate Street East Reach House
Nottingham East Reach
NG7 4FD Taunton
T 0870 240 4459 TA1 3EN
E info@regenerationem.co.uk T 0800 328 3234
North East West Midlands
Ignite Regen WM
One North East Level 2
Stella House Millennium Point
Newburn Riverside Curzon Street
Newcastle Upn Tyne Birmingham
NE15 8NY B4 7XG
T 0191 229 6424 T 0121 202 3260
E enquiries@regenwm.org

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The ASC will work with others
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skills and knowledge needed
to make better places for
people now and in the future.


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