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17th November 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of the Phoenix Project newsletter – a regular update of news and views from our Phoenix Project in Lewes, East Sussex. This newsletter is brought to you by Human Nature, a campaigning development company creating places that inspire and enable people to live great lives within the planet's limits. Sign up to future newsletters here.

We are hard at work, alongside the South Downs National Park, with our plans for this new neighbourhood with the intent of submitting a planning application in late spring 2022. This will be a phased development over five to six years, with the detailed plans for different areas of the site coming forward sequentially. The feedback from the Design Festival has been informing our work as we progress. The next set of plans will be shown at a public exhibition early next year. 

Meanwhile, we continue to update our FAQ section here. This time, we’ve answered your questions about youth engagement, sharing how we’re working with young people now – including in the design of the site – and how the Phoenix Project promises to be a great neighbourhood for children and young adults. 

Talks and events
Human Nature’s Joanna Yarrow will be joining a panel entitled Cop26: Delivering Sustainable Futures at Homes UK at the ExCel Centre in London, 23-24 November. Jonathan Smales will speak at Inside Housing Communications Conference on 1 December in London, while Chelsea Renton will be speaking at the South Downs Network’s Environment, Climate Change and Cop26 webinar on 8 December 2021.

Human Nature Founder & CEO Jonathan Smales shares his thoughts on the events in Glasgow. 

“Cop26 was a curate’s egg really: good things and bad things… good Cop, bad… The good things are to do with the fact that finance, business, city governments have stirred and had a big presence, something that has also encouraged nation states to do more than they might have otherwise. The primary good thing is that Cops happen at all – governments assembling to debate the greatest issues of this or any other age is both necessary and urgent; change at speed and scale cannot happen without them.” Read the full piece here.  

The crises in the climate and natural world mean that we must reimagine how we build and how we live. Not only must we address the materials used in construction, but how neighbourhoods are planned, designed and managed, recognising that the decisions we make as residents – from building materials, waste management and recycling to transport and food – are informed by our surroundings. 

With land becoming an increasingly scarce resource, it is inevitable that neighbourhoods of the future will see us live closer together in tight-knit communities, where our everyday needs are met within a short distance. Sharing residential space is positive for both the environment and personal wellbeing. Read our article about the benefits of shared living here

The Foundry Gallery was busy last week as we had two theatre companies using the space to prepare for upcoming productions. Devonshire Park Theatre assembled the set for a production of The Addams Family at Bede’s School in Hailsham, while New Sussex Opera prepared for its tour of The Princess of Trebizonde, Jacques Offenbach’s rarely performed comic opera. The show will head to Sevenoaks, Eastbourne, Hove and London – there’s more information here. If you are interested in hiring the space, please get in touch with us here

Watch: Talks by the Human Nature team and our wider network of architects and planners filmed at the Design Festival, here

Read: UK Green Building Council picks 17 “exemplary sustainable projects” at the Build Better Now virtual pavilion for Cop26, here.

Read: Ratchets, phase-downs and a fragile agreement: how Cop26 played out, according to a report in The Guardian, here

Read: Take a look at our Phoenix Project Frequently Asked Questions section (FAQ) on our website, which we’ll keep updated, here

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