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Business & Economy

World-leading architects in Newcastle for next phase of Quayside transformation programme

An urban design architect is visiting Newcastle for the next phase of the Quayside reimagining project.

Gehl was in the city today (Wednesday, February 23), and will continue working tomorrow, to push forward the next steps in the grand scheme

The team has been commissioned by NE1 Ltd to lead the project.

Some of the North East’s leading architects and landscape designers will work with Gehl and an invited audience of key stakeholders for a day of interactive workshops.

Heading up the Gehl team is Ewa Westermark, who has an impressive international track record of working with other cities to transform global public spaces and waterfronts, including in New York, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Oslo and Sydney.

Ewa led her team on a site visit and tour of the Quayside today (February 23), and will take part in a series of workshops during February 24.

The workshops have been shaped by the findings from the online engagement survey, which gathered information from local residents, employees, employers and visitors giving insights into how the Quayside is used and places that people like and dislike.

Among the attendees will be business leaders, council representatives, cultural venues, politicians, residents and students.

The aim is to bring together a cross-section of the people of Newcastle and key groups who have a vested interest in the Quayside to take an in-depth look at the themes, ideas and issues identified in the project’s first phase, an online public survey, which saw over 900 people sharing their views on the area.

The workshops will aim to understand the place as it is now, including what people like and dislike about the Quayside, exploring the public’s aspirations for the area and visioning for the future.

The next step will be to share these findings with the people of Newcastle through a second survey, which will be issued in mid-March.

People will be encouraged to have their say and help shape a shared vision and new future for the Quayside.

Gehl is expected to report its full findings at the beginning of April.

Stephen Patterson, NE1 Ltd chief executive, said:“What was very evident from the first survey was that people are rightfully proud of the Quayside and are keen to see it continue to develop and evolve, as well as being progressive and forward-thinking about the area and its future.

“It is a mark of this ambition and aspiration that we appointed Gehl to work alongside some of the city’s finest architects and landscape designers to help us define a collective vision for the future.

“The work is about understanding what is precious, what needs to be maintained and celebrated, as well as identifying the opportunities for maximising the commercial and social benefits for businesses, residents and visitors who flock to this area of the city.

“The architectural teams we are working with are all leaders in their field with a hugely impressive track record of transforming buildings and places.

“We are excited to tap into their collective expertise and are enthusiastic about what can be achieved.

“It is an exciting time for the Quayside, and it is essential we lay the foundations now for how this world-class waterfront will evolve in the future.”

Ewa, who is a partner at Gehl, added: “The team is grateful to have been chosen to be part of the Quayside reimagining programme and are super excited to be working collaboratively with NE1, the people of Newcastle, local architects and landscape designers.

The team at NE1 are so enthusiastic and have an ambitious vision and commitment to the city, the Quayside and to making change happen.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Newcastle to get actively involved in shaping the city’s future and championing a renaissance for the Quayside, its iconic waterfront, heritage, and its incredible natural assets.”