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Manchester’s United Behind Garden City Scheme

Manchester Garden City Scheme
Manchester based photographer Simon Buckley is charting the transformation of the city's landscape. His latest project is to photograph the work of placemaking developers DeTrafford Estates’ Castlefield project which is part of the Manchester Garden City Scheme.

A Revolution in Manchester

In case you hadn’t noticed, a revolution in development terms has been happening in Manchester of late.

Vast swathes of the city have been rejuvenated, restored, cleared and rebuilt.

We touched on the impact of regeneration in Manchester and whether it’s creating dissonance and disconnect in our earlier article Construction or Destruction? Manchester Renaissance Through a Photographer’s Lens.

In that article we focused on the documentary photography work of fine art photographer Simon Buckley.

We looked at how Simon used available light at dawn and dusk when photographing Manchester’s evolving and changing landscape as a metaphor for transition.

Simon said about his project: “In 20 or 30 years, someone else will have an opinion on the city. I’d like to think I’m creating social history through my photographs, leaving clues for historians to see exactly how I feel the city is developing.”

Manchester United Behind Garden City Initiative

The changing face of ManchesterOpinion is likely to remain divided locally for at least the next 20 or 30 years as to whether Manchester is being improved or just transformed beyond all recognition; however, it seems most of Manchester’s united behind the Garden City Scheme.

The scheme to make Manchester a greener, healthier place is a joint initiative between CityCo, an organisation working to make Manchester a prosperous, international city, and innovative architectural firm BDP.

Multiple projects make up the Manchester Garden City Scheme, one of the most exciting of them is DeTrafford Estates’ Castlefield project, and photographer Simon Buckley is going to be right there alongside the developers documenting the evolution of an area bordered by Chester Road and Castlefield Conservation Area over the next five years.

Simon Buckley’s Latest Manchester Documentary Photographic Project

Commenting on the project Simon said: “Manchester has seen a period of rapid change and development. I am keen to put a human face to this, beyond mere bricks and mortar, as well as create an historical archive of a changing city. I see it as the artist and the developer coming together to provide a frank exploration of change as our city modernises and adapts for the future.”

Simon Buckley & Detrafford's Gary Jackson Perhaps someone as artistic, visual and visionary as Simon has chosen to work with developers DeTrafford Estates because the latter is committed to creating sustainable outdoor spaces that really function on all levels to support modern city centre living.

Their approach is certainly centred upon the concept of placemaking – and in documenting the project over the next five years Simon will be able to illustrate how DeTrafford Estates does things differently, and is the right developer to take on one of the most important Manchester Garden City Scheme projects.

The evolving photographic documentary and vlogs will be on DeTrafford’s website, and it’s anticipated that Simon’s work on the Garden City project will result in an exhibition and wider publication upon completion.

Manchester Garden City Scheme

Spaces created within the garden cityIf you want to find out more about the Garden City project you can read about it on CityCo’s site. And the latest update is that the City Council recently gave the go-ahead for St George’s Gardens, which will be the fourth phase of the wider development of the area, which will comprise the overall Manchester Gardens scheme.

This latest approval by the Council brings the number of homes approved to 379 so far, including those in The Sky Gardens, The City Gardens and the award-nominated Roof Gardens.

The first phase of the scheme, One Ellesmere Street, is due for completion early next year.

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