City Centre South redevelopment, Coventry: The Potential of Urban Mining to support place-making, community and sustainability


Coventry is at a pivotal moment. The imminent £450 million redevelopment of City Centre South, and ten-year meanwhile use placemaking strategy, invites a conversation about the benefits of a systems-driven, city-wide approach to regeneration. Integrating public art and placemaking into the way we develop new, local sustainable urban development systems, how can we collaborate more effectively to deliver on the Council’s Climate Change Strategy and its commitment to make Coventry the “UK’s leading City for environmental change, improving the quality of life for all”?

Our proposal is simple. Using an Urban Mining approach, let’s integrate the design of our public art and place-making for the City, and in particular City Centre South, into the way we develop new, local circular urban development systems. This approach positively responds to seven of the UN Sustainability Goals and aims to reduce carbon to net Zero by 2050. Harnessing art and its power of story-telling, we can connect our citizens to the new scheme, inform, educate and support neighbourhood transition.

Research Area:
Urban Mining x Public Art Coventry
Research Type:
Sustainable Urban development is the key to a more sustainable world. “Our economic system should no longer rely on fossil fuels or other destructive resource extraction.” Secretary General Gino Van Begin, International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)
Local historian Aaron Law gives us a tour of City Centre South, referencing its past, present and future.

City Centre South has circa 10 years of meanwhile use and place-making needed to activate the site during the construction phases. We propose extracting materials and components from the existing built environment of City Centre South, keeping and transforming them locally to create dramatic public realm artworks, structures and architectural interventions truly of this place.

These structures have environmental credentials in their own right, with evidencable and calculatable embedded carbon savings. More than this, however, this is about long-term systems change to the benefit of all of us. Through this approach, and because these structures are temporary, with stakeholder collaboration and input, we can use this process to trial, test, evidence-value and implement the new operational and circular production systems needed to enable commercial viability and roll this out more broadly.

More Urban Mining x Public Art

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