How can we live better in the city? It’s a question that’s being given some serious thought globally in the light of the increasing focus on such factors as health, climate change and technological advances.
“Conviviality, bonding and community are what everybody is saying they want in their new world. What we are chatting about is neighbourhood,” is the view of chef, food and sustainability campaigner and author Melissa Hemsley. Among the essential ingredients for this particular recipe are growing and cooking food at home and sharing food with friends and neighbours as, she says, “Food is the instant way to break the ice and take people from being strangers to becoming friends.”
Hemsley is among a number of leading figures from the arts, architecture, design and wellbeing sharing their perceptions on the future of city living in a new podcast, The Blueprint by Ballymore, which has been created to celebrate the launch of its Mill Harbour urban village development, on the doorstep of London’s Canary Wharf. London Design Festival chairman and creative industries campaigner Sir John Sorrell, English National Ballet artistic director and lead principal dancer Tamara Rojo and Lyndon Neri of Shanghai architect Neri&Hu are among other top names who can be heard in the six-part series.
With the series’ host, editor and author Jonathan Openshaw, they will be voicing their views on such subjects as the value of culture, the future of the office, the role of food and exercise in our lives and tomorrow’s smart and sustainable forms of transportation. Some of the themes pick up on ideas already being promoted in Mill Harbour’s urban village, which boasts a theatre, two schools, generous public realm - including a forest - and other elements intended to enhance health and wellbeing and sustainable lifestyles. The creative team behind the scheme, including architect Glenn Howells, will be outlining more of their thinking on the return of the urban village and its characteristics in the podcast series.
Alongside the podcasts, live events will showcase very different aspects of new urban village living. Interiors and lifestyle writer Becky Sunshine will chair three conversation sessions in September at Ballymore’s Design Cube, next to South Quay DLR, with high-street guru and broadcaster Mary Portas, UK CEO of Barry’s Bootcamp Sandy Macaskill and Cathrin Walczyk of Universal Design Studio, the architect and interior designer behind Mill Harbour’s amenities.
On 12 September Mill Harbour’s new forest will become The Great Wild Wharf, a day-long forest school where children can try their hand at soft archery, shelter-building and water purification. And there will be live music and good food on the waterfront in Music at Mill Harbour on 26 September, which will feature emerging London artists including Akin Soul and Ashaine White.
To book for events and pick up the podcast episodes, check out the Mill Harbour website: www.millharbour.co.uk/journal. Subscribe now to the podcast series on all major streaming platforms.