Conference: Masterplanning a connected town centre

Steve Walker from Allies & Morrison is one of the speakers at the Reviving Ipswich Town Centre conference

Steve Walker from Allies & Morrison is one of the speakers at the Reviving Ipswich Town Centre conference - Credit: Ipswich Central

Ipswich Central chair Terry Baxter introduces Steve Walker, architect and director at Allies & Morrison, who will be speaking at the Reviving Ipswich Town Centre conference.

The concept of a ‘15-minute neighbourhood’ is by no means new, but it is certainly one that can benefit businesses and residents alike. Already utilised in cities such as Paris and Stockholm, a 15-minute neighbourhood provides residents with access to most, if not all, of their needs within a short walk or bike ride from their home; reducing car use and carbon emissions.

The Ipswich Vision, however, aims to take the concept one step further, creating the UK’s first ‘Connected Town Centre’; reimagining what our high streets might look like in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. What we do now is the next chapter of our story and needs to build from our long history, which is where the Vision for a ‘Connected Waterfront Town Centre’ was born.

Steve Walker, architect and director at Allies & Morrison, works at the early stages of visions, frameworks and urban master planning, usually at the formation of planning policy, often involving community engagement and building consensus in the context of urban change.

For Steve, master planning is an opportunity to improve the lives of the individuals and communities who make up the fabric of our cities. Steve has been involved with the Ipswich Vision for a number of years, and has contributed a significant amount of expertise towards enhancing Ipswich’s sense of place, developing our cultural economy and respecting our buildings.

Steve’s experience ranges from small scale site briefs and capacity studies through to town and citywide masterplanning projects and large-scale urban characterisation studies. He also contributes to consultation efforts for many of our significant masterplans.

His projects include the Guildford Town Centre Masterplan, a transformation of the historic town centre’s river corridor. For Bishops Stortford Town Centre, he has led the development of a town centre framework to support the delivery of major new schemes on sensitive town centre sites. In east London, he has worked on projects ranging from the Lea Valley Eastside Masterplan to a new masterplan for Whipps Cross Hospital. His characterisation work has covered five London boroughs.

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I look forward to hearing Steve’s insights at the Reviving Ipswich Town conference, which will take place on April 13 from 10.30am-12pm. 

Sign up to attend by visiting