Progressive urban regeneration project: Manchester (1)
One good day in February, we went on a field trip to Ancoats & New Islington, Manchester. Manchester City Council describes this area as now one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in Manchester and even the UK. However, it has been a 30-year journey to success, with Manchester City Council and its numerous partners endorsing a consistent set of key objectives for regeneration and growth over the years. These objectives have been rooted in the drive to provide a mixed-use neighbourhood, whilst protecting and enhancing the unique historic and urban character of the area. (Manchester City Council, 2020).
Back to our field trip, I was lucky that the school offered me this opportunity to have a look in person at a real-life urban regeneration project in New Islington that is currently ongoing in the lively city of Manchester. We took a coach provided by School and arrived at Manchester at 11:30 AM. The first impression of New Islington is that the buildings are neat and slightly higher in comparison to Newcastle’s buildings. The districts are well-managed with lively activated small businesses. Various sizes and types of buildings have their own characteristics, in combination, each building type has its own attractive point. Furthermore, the mid-high density makes this neighbourhood convenient with mixed-use offices, communal facilities, and small businesses just as the developers advertised.
In particular, the waterfront landscape of the Marina is well-designed and integrated because it provides a natural habitat and atmospheric space for both residents and animals alike. According to a study about the beneficial impact of attributes that waterfront accessibility on human well-being, the waterfront has a significant role in the urban context through forming the city, as well as on people’s physical, physiological and phycological health. Moreover, the research from Othman et al. (2020) suggests, that a large body of water can be advantageous to people as this encourages socialisation, a high press of affiliation, and exposition in comparison to other natural environments.
The water canals featured in Ancoats and New Islington allow residential building blocks to be some of the most sorted after properties in Manchester, accompanied by mixed-use offices and retail developments, which are retrofitted in past industrial buildings, as well as a new school and a medical centre. Apartment blocks and modular townhouses have been scheduled to be built along the Marina waterfront in the latest phase of the area’s regeneration.
– Deloitte (2016) Ancoats and New Islington: Neighbourhood Development Framework Update 2016, Available at: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5fbcdd69cb62876c45e905dd/t/5fbe8e3dcb3e0f5771270978/1607082958604/2016+NDF (Accessed: 6 April 2022).
– Griffiths, N. (2020) ‘New phase of decades-long New Islington regeneration approved by council’, Manchester Evening News, 2 March, Available at: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/new-islington-manchester-urban-splash-17849046?utm_source=linkCopy&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar (Accessed: 30 March 2022).
– Manchester Council (2020) Ancoats and New Islington NDF: Poland Street Zone, Available at: https://democracy.manchester.gov.uk/documents/s17834/Ancoats%20and%20new%20Islington%20NDF%20Appendix%20-%20The%20NDF.pdf (Accessed: 6 April 2022).
– Othman, A. et al,. (2020) ‘The impact of attributes of waterfront accessibility on human well-being: Alexandria Governorate as a case study’, Ain Shams Engineering Journal, 12(1), pp 1033-1047.
– UK Construction online (2020), The Future of the North: The Regeneration of Ancoats and New Islington, Available at: https://www.ukconstructionmedia.co.uk/features/future-north-regeneration-ancoats-new-islington/ (Accessed: 30 March 2022).