Prosocial Place
Prosocial Place

Sharing Ideas: Talks & Debates.

"Urban Thrival" - Thrive 2020 Conference - Guernsey 2017

‘Life History Theory’ shows how the qualities of an environment directly determine our life strategies and our wellbeing, emphasising the importance of our places.  Where resources are perceived to be unstable, unreliable and unpredictable, thrill-seeking and non-cooperative, impulsive, self-centered choices are more adaptive and so become the norm – and sadly unsustainable ‘survival’ behaviours.


Where resources are perceived to be stable, reliable and predictable, people plan their futures, develop the capacity to adapt to inevitable life stresses, and cooperate with other future-oriented people to determine their positive futures.  This is THRIVAL, and it needs appropriate ‘space’ to flourish.  When this space has positive ‘meaning’ for people, it becomes PLACE.


In this video, Graham argues that to move from survival to thrival, we must become one community - everybody involved through co-design in developing the theory, governance and practice of placemaking - converting common sense into common wisdom.

"Wellbeing: What Works?" - The National Urban Design Conference - Manchester 2017

The conference theme is Health, Happiness, Harmony: The role of Urban Design in response to the massive challenges faced by the UK in providing new housing for an expanding population, while improving the liveability of towns and cities for all.   The aim is to show how successful urban design depends on a holistic approach to the integration of development, land-use planning, transport planning and urban engineering.


In this video, Rhiannon argues that to be successful, we need to focus on creating meaningful places that are good for both individual and community wellbeing - not just happiness.

Talk Transcripts

Liverpool City Region - Place Summit 2016 - "Place Making for the Common Good: Foundations for Success"
This ‘Place and Wellbeing Summit’ was delivered by Prosocial Place at the request of Luciana Berger, MP for Wavertree and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, and sponsored by Liverpool Mayor’s Office. Opening a cross-discipline/ sector discussion on the bond between places, mental health and wellbeing, the summit considered future place-making and place–stewardship in this context, emphasising its vital role for the Liverpool City Region economy.
HESELTINE - PlaceSummit - Final Report J[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.8 MB]
Belfast 2015 - A Placemaking Symposium for Councils - "Shaping Place, Changing Lives"
Northern Ireland’s new Councils have been responsible for placemaking through planning and community planning since April 2015 and at the time of the Symposium were scheduled to accept new regeneration responsibilities from 1 April 2016. The Minister for Social Development announced on 26 November 2015 that regeneration powers would remain with the Department.
Supporting Councils in these new responsibilities, NILGA, DCAL and MAG curated this Placemaking Symposium for elected members and officers.
This is a transcript of the talk presented by Graham Marshall on the Prosocial Place Programme at the symposium.
Prosocial - Transcript from MAG Symposiu[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.3 MB]
Regen 2015 - Liverpool - "Healthy Cities: Design Matters"
Transcription of Talk.
We face a public health crisis with greater awareness of the health impacts of urban environments than ever before. In the wake of Marmot we also have greater social responsibility and can no longer turn our backs on these issues.
Successful places are not simply about building, or growth or spending. The issues are complex, demanding design thinking that is appreciative of the impacts of place on behaviour.
We must now underpin our common sense with a common wisdom.
Prosocial Place - Regen 2015 - Healthy C[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [941.4 KB]
Welsh Assembly - Regeneration Summit 2014 - "Health & the Design of Towns & Cities"
Transcript of Keynote Talk
We have been asked to talk about Health & the Design of Place today and I will start by framing the question and setting the context.
Today we are facing a new public health crisis as great as the Victorians...but to address it we need to start with some new thinking...particularly about design.
Wales Regeneration Summit 2014 - Talk Tr[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.3 MB]

Talk Slides

Developing Ideas



Just completed pilopt projects in Cumbria and Northern Ireland using the Healthy High Streets Crat Kit we helped author for the Department for Communities NI in 2022