Better Places Together: Introducing Ed, the camper van

There’s an organisation I really admire in Liverpool, called PLACED. Stands for PLACE EDUCATION. I’ve worked with them in the recent past and been friends with their founder Jo Harrop for a good long time.

Today just off Bold Street they launched their Better Places Together programme and their special new friend, Ed the camper van.

Here’s Ed.

So a few words from Ed and Jo:

“PLACED is an award-winning social enterprise that engages and involves people of all ages and backgrounds in architecture, planning and design and enables them to shape their built environment.”

And Better Places Together?

“This is a project that will invite local people to explore ideas for how to improve spaces and places across the city.

We have refurbished a camper van, named Ed, which has become a unique, mobile workspace touring the city. We’ll be running mini-workshops, hands-on activities and facilitating discussion which tackles topics around the built environment.

From the city centre to further afield, we will be inviting you to join us. So we hope you can join the debate.”

Because places matter. As I’m sure you realise.

Today’s place.

Ropewalks Square is a relatively new place, created by some selective demolition around the turn of the century on Bold Street, to link the street to the newly created FACT just behind it on Wood Street. And while it’s worked fine as a way to see and get to FACT it’s never really worked as a public square or breathing space. I’ve criticised it on here before.

So what ideas might the passing people of Liverpool come up with here today?

With Jo and the team to help.
Lots of resources
And Ed?
Everyone gets keenly to work.

And I get in Ed the camper van, it was going to happen wasn’t it! Meanwhile the PLACED team continue the real work of talking to people about architecture, planning and design on a splendid sunny Saturday.As an aside there are plans for a part of this square at the moment.

Four storey apartment and retail space.
Here where Christian’s fruit and veg stall stood when the square was first created.

But anyway, what did some of today’s people think? And there were many more besides.

Deeply thinking, talking and writing as the afternoon grew late.

A really good day. And with more to come:

  • Islington pop-up, Friday 23rd June
  • Liverpool Pride pop-up, Sunday 30th July
  • Our City View Photo Exhibition, Saturday 2nd September
  • Through the Keyhole pop-up, Thursday 7th September

And of course there can be other dates, especially if you have an event or project you might like Ed and the PLACED team to support? Get in touch with Jo and the team.

As well as the events, throughout the summer there’ll be an interactive social media campaign and blogs, showcasing some of the most innovative projects in the city and sharing news of Better Places Together as it develops.


Well done all. See you soon!

Published by Ronnie

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place:

Join the Conversation


    1. Hi Helen, Jo might want to say more herself, but as I understand it ideas and conversations will be reported on their own blogs and websites over the summer and we’ll see what people in the various places pick up on. I think it’s a brilliant idea to load everything up in a camper van and go to where people actually live and gather.

      1. Well, as always, that depends on each place, circumstance, strength of idea and feeling and what the people of each place want to do. This is education primarily, that’s why Jo’s organisation is called what it’s called.

    2. Hi Helen. As Ronnie says, it depends on each event. Whilst this was a space we decided to focus on with no specific client, once we promoted the event we were contacted by FACT and the Ropewalks CIC. They are very interested in hearing the views of local people in order to shape their own vision. Therefore, there will be a direct sharing of information.

      Some events we do may be for specific stakeholders and therefore the views will have a very direct impact. Others we will be provoking the debate. As a whole, the project will seek to evaluate and evidence the benefit of this approach.

      I hope that answers your questions but do follow us on to find out what happens.

    1. Yes Mary this programme is Liverpool, but they do work beyond here. So either email me and I’ll put you in touch with Jo, or email her direct through their website, link on the blog.

    2. Hi Mary. Ronnie has kindly fed back for me, but we definitely can work further afield, although this specific project is Liverpool centric for now. Please feel free to drop me an email – it’s on our website. Best Jo

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