The Expanded City is a three-year programme of artistic research, interventions and events, designed to inform a series of planned infrastructure projects on the outskirts of Preston. Part of Preston’s ‘City Deal’ – a central government initiative which aims to encourage economic growth by addressing strategic infrastructure challenges – the scheme includes the creation of over 17,000 houses as well as new roads and amenities.
Following an invitation by Preston City Council to contribute to their plans, In Certain Places has been working with artists Gavin Renshaw, Emily Speed, Olivia Keith, Lauren Velvick, Ian Nesbitt and Ruth Levene, and multi-disciplinary design group The Decorators to explore the existing characteristics of the development areas, raise questions and offer suggestions for the future of these places.
The Expanded City extends the methods and approaches refined by In Certain Places over the last decade to the context of the city’ s edges. What are the contributions artists can make to the external perceptions and internal experiences of inner city and suburban places? How can that inform debate about the imminent future of these places in terms of urban planning and cultural provision? During the first stage of The Expanded City project the commissioned artists investigated the physical and cultural topography of the outskirts of Preston, ‘deep mapping’ the areas marked for growth. The artists share an interest in boundaries, routes, edges and the urban/rural binary, and work across a range of media, including film, photography and performance. Their work has explored the social and physical aspects of the places, their relationships with the city centre and the potential implications of planned developments.
The most recent snapshot of the project to date will be provided at the Lie of the Land symposium, 16th May 2018, which will present some of the artists’ key insights and observations, and encourage discussion about wider issues of urban planning and policy.
Read Lauren Velvick’s blogposts about the project: