Greater Manchester’s draft Spatial Framework set plans for where and how the city would develop. After a heated consultation the Framework is being re-drafted with a new consultation planned for October 2018. Working in this context, Space in Common is a project to bring together a small group who are interested in how Greater Manchester develops for a variety of different reasons, and who have access to wider networks for building change. The ambition is to mix housing developers with local campaigns groups, transport charities with business people, and economist with activists. Across four short workshops , participants will reflect on their previous experiences of conversations around the Spatial Framework, build greater understanding of each other’s aims, and explore what steps could build a better quality of conversation and advance shared aims.

The project has been commissioned by a group of academics and other partners who are working together under the name ‘Jam and Justice’ using funding from The Economic and Social Research Council and Mistra Urban Futures. Demsoc are working closely with members of this group to deliver this programme.


Through this project we hope to build stronger relationships between those interested in the future of Greater Manchester from a range of standpoints. A key aim is to encourage participants themselves to take actions to achieve common aims and build better conversations about the spatial future of Greater Manchester. Support is available for participants to help with this.

Key learnings will also be captured about how a better quality of discussion can be enabled around spatial planning, including what support can help groups outside government play a bigger role in building this. Lessons for Greater Manchester and other city regions will be shared with key policy-makers and influencers.

Further information

If you’d like to know more, or are interested in taking part please contact Mat Basford on


[Image: Peter Griffin,]

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