urban therapist


People sometimes ask Phil what is his specialism. Is he a planner, or an architect, or an economist or a social scientist, an arts administrator or a marketer, a community activist or a politician? Frustratingly he says “none”. If he is a specialist at anything it is working in the spaces and interstices between these and the many other areas of influence that make a city up. His aim to make them responsive to each other and the people they serve.

Born in in 1959, Phil has been a partner in the urban and cultural policy agency Comedia since 2000.

Before joining Comedia, Phil was the Director of the Creative Town Initiative, a €10 million Urban Pilot Project of the European Commission; and before that in senior management with a large metropolitan council in the UK involved in community development, culture, business support and urban regeneration.

He is currently principal advisor to the Council of Europe on its transnational Intercultural Cities programme (www.coe.int/interculturalcities).

He has advised the UK government’s Creative Industries Task Force and also its Commission on Integration and Cohesion. He has given major presentations at international conferences including Creative City South Africa in Johannesburg, Metropolis in Toronto, the International Cities, Town Centres & Communities conference in Sydney, Multicultural Symbiosis in Tokyo, the Alliance of Civilisations in Rio de Janeiro and the World Summit on Arts and Culture.

He holds a MA with distinction in European Cultural Planning. His book, The Intercultural City: Planning for Diversity Advantage (co-authored with Charles Landry) was published in 2008 by Earthscan.

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