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Designing Environments as if People Matter?

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Coin Street Conference Centre, London SE1 9NH

Investing In the Future & Avoiding the Mistakes of the Past

The Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems has teamed up with longstanding conference organisers MEM, to launch a London-based conference series under the banner of "People Matter," by choosing to focus on Built Environments – as a continuation of E.F Schumacher's seminal work "Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered". Meanwhile, we will be joining the worldwide celebration of the 100th year since the birth of the American urban activist, Jane Jacobs.

Why "Designing Environments as if People Matter?"

It is apparent that there are many pressing challenges facing society today, ranging from health to housing, work to economy and climate change to resource depletion. Consequently, policy makers and professionals are poised to instigate major infrastructure investments and urban/settlement expansion in order to alleviate the challenges that we all face during coming years. However, there is a significant risk that mistakes of the past will be repeated if a collaborative and robust people focused approach is not taken – even if apparently otherwise attractive sounding concepts are utilized. Could we avoid these mistakes? We are actively bringing together a variety speakers and aim to cover topics such as health, housing and work. Cross-cutting themes will include resilient communities; engagement and inclusion; and sustainable social, economic and environmental ecosystems.

The Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems

Is an independent think-tank with national and global networks with its origins in Bristol. Bristol was last year's European Green Capital and is now one of the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities Network; achievements for which the Schumacher Institute played a not insignificant role in securing.


Our Keynote Speaker will be Paul Morrell, Edge Commission Chairman, BEPE Chairman and former Government Chief Construction Advisor.

Other speakers are being approached to draw together insights across a variety of relevant topics


Reflecting the conference title, we want to attract professional from both built environment and people-facing backgrounds:

  • Architects and Planners
  • Social Housing Providers
  • Workplace professionals
  • Health and education estates professionals
  • Public and Environmental Health professionals
  • Health Service practitioners
  • Social Service providers
  • Equalities and Access professionals
  • Sustainability professionals
  • Local Enterprise Partnership members
  • Developers and Investors
  • Energy professionals
  • Transport professionals
  • System Builders
  • Academia

Attendance and Booking

For further information or to book your place at the conference please click here.