Institute of Archaeology


Kay Richardson

BEYOND WORDS: How can significance led placemaking that integrates heritage values create a more socially responsible urban design process?


Email: Katharine.richardson@ucl.ac.uk

Section: Heritage Studies



This qualitative research titled 'Beyond Words' seeks to develop new insights in the evolution of the current institutional (process and policy) approach to significance and heritage value in order to develop the understanding and use of significance and heritage values to the benefit of intrinsic, instrumental and institutional values in placemaking and urban design process.

The effect of Urban Design practice rooted in historical narrative for contemporary meaning is discussed in terms of supporting cultural ambition and creative potential within contemporary society. Among the areas of debate; sustainable memory interaction with community; inclusive, community-based interpretation when evaluating asset significance; observant expertise for storytelling, and understanding of emotion driven (non-scientific) values will all be explored.

In order to develop new understanding on what significance led-placemaking requires and share what it can deliver for people, places and professional practice this research also aims to explore the ways innovative or creative design practices can help develop and promote a heritage sector that could assist delivering new ways of values driven design practice, policy crafting and heritage management resource allocation for community wellbeing. Its analysis of design as a conduit for expressing and decentralising cultural significance and values driven or socially responsible design is examined in South East England. 


    • MA, Urban Design, Westminster University, 2004
    • Post Graduate Diploma, Landscape Architecture, Leeds Metropolitan University, 1994
    • BA (Hons), Landscape Architecture, Leeds Polytechnic, 1992