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Build for Health & Creativity

April 18, 2023

Hjørringgade 12C
2100 København Ø

Russell’s session will look at the lessons learnt and key strategies that brought funding and social impact in a challenging part of East London – Gillett Square.


Build for Health & Creativity, which is to be held in Copenhagen between  April 18-19 2023, investigates what it means to build and develop healthy cities, by looking at the population’s mental, social and physical needs.

People walking around Gillett Square during an event
And older man and young child sat down and playing chess in Gillett Square

About the session

The masterplan for Gillett Square in Hackney wasn’t about ‘placemaking’. It was about understanding, supporting and nurturing the activities that already took place in the surrounding streets and prioritising them.

Russell Brown worked on Gillett Square for more than 25 years with the client as agent provocateur, urbanist, musician, pass/aggressive Adam Hart.

The project saved Victorian Terraces from demolition, helped save the local cinema, built London’s only live poetry venue, created an arts-based creative working community, rehoused the Vortex Jazz club, diverted European funds to east London, and transformed an underused carpark into a a busy urban village green for a very diverse community.


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