urban therapist

about phil wood

Phil Wood is dissatisfied. He loves cities but thinks many are not fulfilling their true potential. Instead of complaining though he offers help.

First he asks questions. Difficult ones - or some so simple no-one else thought to ask them. He brings the cold insight of the outside eye and the challenge of the experienced practitioner. But also the enthusiasm, empathy and practical support of a critical friend, because he cares - he really cares.

The things he cares about most are how, from the conditions of greatest adversity, cities can find the energy to re-invent themselves. And he cares about how we can not only tolerate each other in all our diversity, but co-operate and create a new kind of society. He cares, ultimately, about how cities can embrace, not fear, the inevitability of change.

Author of the book The Intercultural City: Planning for Diversity Advantage, his main interest lies in how cities can come to terms with their growing heterogeneity and connectedness – to see it as a creative opportunity not a threat. Through years of trying out what works and what doesn’t in cities, Phil has put together a set of tools and methods to aid cities. but he also goes deeper too, to tackle the mindsets that determine whether a city will thrive or falter.

Urban communities are where the challenges of the modern age are being felt most harshly but also where the most life-enhancing solutions are being created. Phil Wood seeks out other change agents in the city and helps galvanise their hopes and aspirations into action. He works with mayors and municipalities but also with entrepreneurs, charities, artists and activists – insiders and outsiders. His holistic approach takes in the hardware of the city (architecture, engineering and planning), its software (economic, politics, social policy) and its cultural subconscious.

Phil Wood is inspired too… by the many amazing people he has the chance to work with in NGOs, local communities, city administrations and small businesses – from mayors to neighbourhood mothers. Honest and courageous people who think outside the box and the rule book, who turn weakness into strength, who break fences and build bridges and who love their city.

If you are one, get in touch.

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