Space in Common

Space in Common is a project exploring how we can build more constructive and inclusive conversations about what gets built where in Greater Manchester and beyond. 

This is centred on four workshops, anticipating planned consultation on a re-drafted ‘Spatial Framework’ for Greater Manchester.

Through these workshops we aim to:

  • Learn about people’s previous experience of campaigns and discussions about spatial planning in Greater Manchester.
  • Help participants understand how decisions are currently made, and find out about promising examples of how things have been done differently elsewhere.
  • Link up people interested in this topic from a range of angles, and explore what possibilities there are for starting to build a better quality of debate in Greater Manchester.
  • Share our learnings with key policy actors, and support members of our group to make change themselves.

Through these workshops we are bringing together a small group of people who are interested in this topic from a range of different angles. We’ve already had three of the four workshops, and you can read about these discussions over on the DemSoc website. If you are interested in taking part in the final session, please email or fill in this short form and we’ll get back to you.

Workshop 1: A better debate about what's built where (19 September, Central Manchester, 17.00 - 19.15)
Bringing together a small group with a stake in this issue from a range of different standpoints to talk about their experiences of this topic and to start thinking about what a better conversation might look like. Read more.

Workshop 2: How does Spatial Planning work, and how can it work better? (29 October, Central Manchester 17.00 – 19.15)
Drawing on some expert advice to explore how spatial planning decisions currently work and how communities can feed into these decisions, and sharing some examples of how people have tried to build more productive debates elsewhere. Read more.

Workshop 3: Making a change (3 December, Central Manchester, 17.00 - 19.15)
Just Space, an organisation that has built a different way of working in another city, shared some of their experiences to help us reflect on what opportunities and barriers there are to building a different way of working in Greater Manchester. Read more.

Workshop 4: Keeping it going (5 February 2019, Central Manchester)
We hope to inspire some of our participants to explore ways of building a better debate in Greater Manchester. Our last workshop will be used to reflect on what has happened so far, consider key messages that should be communicated more widely, and explore if there is a way of continuing momentum from these workshops into the future.

This project is being run by The Democratic Society in collaboration with a team of researchers and practitioners who are working together as part of Jam and Justice, a project exploring possibilities for a more ‘co-productive’ way of running Greater Manchester. Jam and Justice has funding from the Economic and Social Research Council and Mistra Urban Futures.

We look forward to hearing from you if you’d like to take part or find out more. Just email or fill in the expression of interest form.

News, events and blog

An Evening with Jam and Justice - Join us (with ARC project logos)
Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 17:30 to 20:00
Ziferblat, Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HW

The Jam and Justice Action Research Collective will be sharing what we have learned and celebrating the outcomes of our projects in Greater Manchester.

Map of Greater Manchester and the surrounding area with highlighted details relating to the Spatial Framework (2016 proposal)
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 17:00 to 19:15
Central Manchester

As consultations on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framwork re-open, the Space in Common project convenes for its fourth workshop, looking at what can be done to involve more voices in Greater Manchester's planning processes.

Deliberations about Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework are entering a new phase under the guidance of Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett. Strategic urban planning might seem like a niche interest, but the use of space in and around the city region affects every citizen’s life.

Monday, June 11, 2018 - 12:00 to 13:30
Manchester Central Library

Devolution promised to open up new opportunities for community engagement and empowerment, shifting power from Whitehall to the Townhall. One year on since the election of Andy Burnham as Mayor of Greater Manchester, Jam and Justice's Action Research Collective are hosting a debate in Manchester Central Library to discuss the changing horizons of collective decision-making in Greater Manchester.