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'Stunning campus...amazing transformation' - City Mayor praises DMU at architecture talk

The stunning new-look campus at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) came in for praise from the City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby during a talk about how architecture can contribute to public health.

 SIR PETER - main

DMU hosted the last of 2017’s City Series lectures, a programme of talks covering a wide range of urban issues.

Sir Peter was invited to talk about the Local Plan, a vital document which lays out the ten year vision of how Leicester should grow, incorporating housing, employment, shopping, heritage, transport, waste and infrastructure.

At the start of his talk Sir Peter praised the award-winning DMU campus when relating the theme of architecture to public health.

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He said: “This is a wonderful campus that has been created at DMU. They used to say DMU was a great university but shame about the campus.

“But now we have a brilliant university and a stunning campus and, really, what has been happening here is an amazing transformation and very much reflective of the way DMU sees itself – as something physically engaged and practically engaged with the city.”

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When discussing the heritage of Leicester Sir Peter also praised the work to turn the Great Hall of Leicester Castle into the home of DMU’s Leicester Castle Business School.

He said: “It is an amazing piece of very sensitive work which has brought the Castle Hall back to life overlooking St Mary De Castro Church. It is pretty special but not the only piece of heritage Leicester is so lucky to have…Leicester is enormously blessed with 2,000 years of history.”

Sir Peter also called on as many people as possible to join in with the public consultation relating to the Local Plan, the first round of which closes on Sunday 17 December.

The City Series talks are organised by Leicester Urban Observatory – a collaboration between DMU, Leicester City Council and the Universities of Leicester and Loughborough, which aims to present the city as a centre of excellence for urban design and planning.

Presentations were also made by Neil Stacey, Associate Professor in Architecture at DMU, and Ivan Browne, Deputy Director of Public Health at Leicester City Council.

They both explained that architecture was one of many facets that contribute to the health of the people of Leicester, but certainly had its part to play.

Professor Stacey noted that “a good built environment that promotes health recognises that individuals have to feel a sense of ownership and belonging to have strong self esteem.”

Mr Browne’s talk focused on what measures had been introduced in Leicester to promote healthy activity, including the extension of the cycle network, promoting walking routes through the city, the installation of outdoor gyms in city parks and the building of public spaces such as Jubilee Square, near DMU, which used to be a car park, as well as the buildings at the gateway to New Walk which are replacing the old Leicester City Council New Walk Centre. The designs include a new public square.

To have a say on the proposed Local Plan for Leicester go to https://consultations.leicester.gov.uk/sec/local-plan/

Posted on Thursday 7th December 2017

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