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 happening around the time of a 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 some of these workshops but it’s not too late to get involved. If you are interested in taking part, please email

Discussions at our first workshop
Discussions at our first workshop

What we’ve been doing in these workshops:

Workshop 1: Building a better debate. 19th September, 2018. At this workshop we explored people’s previous experiences and ideas about what change is needed. See what was discussed here.

Workshop 2: How does Spatial Planning work, and how can it work better? 29th October, 2018. At this workshop a local council planner helped talk the group through how decisions work at the moment, and how people can have a say. You can see more here.

Workshop 3: Making a change. 3rd December, 2018. At this workshop we heard from Just Space, a network who’ve been working together on issues relevant to spatial planning in London. You can see what was learnt here.

Workshop 4: Keeping it going. 5th February, 2019. At this last event we will be creating a space to explore ways that groups can work together on debates around spatial planning in the future. You can access the Eventbrite page here.

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

[Construction image: Peter Griffin,]

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