We're starting a new project in the West Midlands city of Wolverhampton. Eventually I hope it will help the city position itself more vibrantly, get under the skin of its heritage and get a series of funded projects moving that will give the place a buzzing, future focus. We have our first proper project meeting, with the chief executive of Wolverhampton City Council, Simon Warren, and his assistant Joanne Lancaster on 28th April. I first met Simon last autumn while we were both on a panel making the case for smarter cities at The Guardian in Kings Cross, hosted by IBM. We got on right away. Before running cities (Rugby and now Wolverhampton) he was head of Strategic Management for NATO. Enough said.
The output of that 19 October 2010 Guardian panel is online here:"Getting Cities on Track" round table debate. (quotes are anonymous under Chatham House rules, irritatingly...)
"Getting smart cities connected", 16 November 2010 article. (features some nice quotes from Simon toward the end)
"City design: Transforming tomorrow." 8 September 2010 piece by Terry Kirby, including quotes from me.
This is a perfect project to involve some talented people I've had my eye on for some time. Joe Simpson is tied up on work at the Royal College of Art, Car Design News and secret projects for the auto industry for the time being, though he may get involved later (Joe's great value on Twitter in the interim). So for the first time, I get the chance to work with Tom Wynne-Morgan. Tom and I first started talking a few years ago. He's a designer and researcher with an MA in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art. Almost everything he does (such as his blog and the fascinating AlterFutures), and the way he looks at problems, intrigues me so I'm really excited about having him work closely with me. Tom also works at Engine, a well-regarded service design consultancy, based nearby in Bermondsey. Tom also has a very cool bike.
We're going to work hard to share progress with Wolverhampton as we go, so I look forward to having you along for the ride.
Tom Wynne-Morgan's cool bike. Modelled by Julian Parsons. The Movement Design Bureau. London, Wednesday 20 April 2011.Posted by Mark Charmer. Wednesday, 20 April 2011.