High density or high liveability?: 25th February 2019

The future of urban neighbourhoods: high density or high liveability?
– a talk by Finlay McNab, urban design practitioner and director at Streets Reimagined.

‘They aren’t making land anymore’ noted the American author Mark Twain at the turn of the 20th century and never has this adage seemed more relevant.

With house ownership more unaffordable than ever, and the numbers rough sleeping continuing to rise, there is intense pressure to provide more homes from the developable land available.

Reflecting this, national planning policy now recommends planning applications should be refused where developments fail to make efficient use of land.

Bristol and the West of England is no exception to this challenge. Bristol’s planning policy identifies ‘Urban Living’ as a ‘central plank’ of its strategy.

What are the implications for this step change in density levels for urban neighbourhoods in Bristol? How will it affect how city residents live, share space and move around their city in the future?

Finlay McNab, Director at Streets Reimagined, will draw on examples from the UK and across Europe to explore these questions and highlight some of the key challenges and potential opportunities arising from high density urban neighbourhoods.

Monday 25th February 7.00 pm at the Watershed.

Tickets are £5 each bookable in advance using the PayPal button below:


Bio – Finlay McNab MA UD

Finlay is a qualified and recognised practitioner of Urban Design with close to 20 years of experience from the public, private and third sectors. Working at a variety of scales from strategic master plans to street layouts he has particular expertise and practical experience around achieving innovative urban design for more liveable environments.

He set-up his practice ‘Streets Reimagined’ in 2015 and recent commissions have included work to support a community-led master plan for the Southmead, and a Department for Transport funded research project exploring how to achieve liveability and sustainable transport investment in high density urban developments.

Prior to this, Finlay held a senior position at the sustainable transport charity Sustrans, where he led a national programme of work empowering communities to reimagine streets as more sociable and liveable places.

Finlay is also a Built Environment Expert for The Design Council CABE and sits on design review panels to advise on significant urban developments in the south-west.

Alan Morris