19 episodes

Urbanism meets food, travel, business, tech and the environment in a podcast that takes a fresh look at the future of our cities - and the people redefining it: from influential chefs, musicians and activists, to architects, urban planners, politicians, environmentalists and entrepreneurs. We travel the globe to ask the big questions. How can we fix our food system? How can tourism be a force for good? How can we breathe life back into abandoned buildings? How can we prevent natural disasters? How is remote work changing what we look for in our cities? We bring you the stories of human resilience and innovation at the heart of our world’s rapid transformation.

*New episodes released monthly

Common Ground is a podcast brought to you by place making & marketing agency Toposophy.

For more than a decade TOPOSOPHY has been inspiring and informing its clients on how to transform places; whether they’re neighbourhoods, cities, regions or whole countries. The TOPOSOPHY team works with international organisations, multinational brands and government agencies around the world, leading them every step of the way to find place making and marketing solutions that are built to last. As constantly curious people, we love to collect game-changing ideas that are transforming other sectors, and draw valuable lessons for the future of places. This podcast series -curated by the TOPOSOPHY team- is just one example of how we bring these valuable ideas to life.

Common Ground Toposophy

    • Society & Culture

Urbanism meets food, travel, business, tech and the environment in a podcast that takes a fresh look at the future of our cities - and the people redefining it: from influential chefs, musicians and activists, to architects, urban planners, politicians, environmentalists and entrepreneurs. We travel the globe to ask the big questions. How can we fix our food system? How can tourism be a force for good? How can we breathe life back into abandoned buildings? How can we prevent natural disasters? How is remote work changing what we look for in our cities? We bring you the stories of human resilience and innovation at the heart of our world’s rapid transformation.

*New episodes released monthly

Common Ground is a podcast brought to you by place making & marketing agency Toposophy.

For more than a decade TOPOSOPHY has been inspiring and informing its clients on how to transform places; whether they’re neighbourhoods, cities, regions or whole countries. The TOPOSOPHY team works with international organisations, multinational brands and government agencies around the world, leading them every step of the way to find place making and marketing solutions that are built to last. As constantly curious people, we love to collect game-changing ideas that are transforming other sectors, and draw valuable lessons for the future of places. This podcast series -curated by the TOPOSOPHY team- is just one example of how we bring these valuable ideas to life.

    17. Exploring the Metaverse: How Cities are Creating ‘Digital Twins’ to Overhaul Urban Planning

    17. Exploring the Metaverse: How Cities are Creating ‘Digital Twins’ to Overhaul Urban Planning

    The ‘metaverse’ and its so-called ‘virtual worlds’ have somewhat fallen short of the hype, but that doesn’t mean everyone has lost out. Urban planners across the globe have started to combine the vision of the metaverse with smart cities and the internet of things, to create immersive ‘digital twins’ of our cities and buildings that are changing how we think about urban planning. In this episode we speak to Salla Eckhardt, Senior Vice President for Commercial Market at OEC Services who formerly worked with Digital Twinning software at Microsoft, and Anders Logg, Professor of Mathematics at Chalmers University in Sweden, who develops and explores digital twins for cities. 

    • 30 min
    16. Direct Democracy and Citizen Science: How Crowdsourcing Tech is Helping Empower Residents

    16. Direct Democracy and Citizen Science: How Crowdsourcing Tech is Helping Empower Residents

    What can the everyday person teach an expert when it comes to the places we live? How can something as simple as the design of a webpage lead to more constructive collaboration? And what does it take to have a truly participatory way of governing? In this episode, we talk to Robert Bjanarson, the CEO of Citizens Foundation and the man behind “Your Priorities”, a platform that has helped cities across the globe crowdsource solutions for their urban planning problems. Before UCL Professor Muki Haklay breaks down what exactly citizen science is and why it’s never been easier for the average joe to contribute to valuable research. Plus: Reykjavik resident Axel Kvaran talks us through the process of proposing a project for his neighbourhood.

    • 31 min
    15. Culture as Catalyst: The Role of Art in Placemaking

    15. Culture as Catalyst: The Role of Art in Placemaking

    How can culture become a driving force behind a neighbourhood’s social and urban renewal? How can a place steer clear from commercialising what makes it unique? And what can a city do to safeguard its artists in times of crisis? In this episode, Jen Hughes, a Senior Advisor at the National Endowment of Arts, explains how their Our Town grant is helping villages, towns and cities across the US revitalise their urban and rural spaces. Before Roland Fischer-Vousden breaks down how his organisation SET are adapting vacant buildings in London to give local artists a lifeline. 
     

    • 34 min
    14. Mindful Cities: How our Built Environment can Cultivate Community and Combat Isolation

    14. Mindful Cities: How our Built Environment can Cultivate Community and Combat Isolation

    How can urban spaces support the mental wellbeing of a community? What might a morning spent gardening do for someone’s happiness? And how can the simple concept of a shed bring people together? In this episode, Robin Hewings – Programme Director at Campaign to End Loneliness UK – breaks down how the built environment impacts our wellbeing, author and academic Barry Golding chats to us about the phenomenon of Men’s Sheds in Australia and Philip Nichols CEO of Spitalfields City Farm in London explains the benefits of community gardens. 
     
    Plus: TOPOSOPHY’s advice on how cities and towns can collaborate with positive grassroots organisations. 
     

    • 33 min
    13. Do it for the Kids: How Urban Design is Encouraging Active Play and Social Interaction

    13. Do it for the Kids: How Urban Design is Encouraging Active Play and Social Interaction

    What can a videogame teach us about the way we plan our cities? How might developing a play park help make for safer spaces for both children and adults? And do grown-ups really know best? In this episode, we speak to former Commissioner of Parks and Rec of Philadelphia — Kathryn Ott Lovell, about the iconic playstreets programme that has been happening in the city for half a century, and James Delaney Chair of the Board at Block by Block to learn how the NGO is designing public spaces across the global south through the help of Minecraft and children. 
     
    Plus TOPOSOPHY’s takeaways on the things city officials must consider when bringing play into their urban planning.
     

    • 33 min
    12. The Nightlife Revolution: How Cities are Transforming their Night Economies

    12. The Nightlife Revolution: How Cities are Transforming their Night Economies

    Why are so many late night venues across the UK and Europe shutting down? How can cities and local councils draw the fine line between residents and revelers? What role do developers have in keeping culture alive? In this episode we’re looking into the pros and cons of the night time economy. We’ll be speaking to Mark Davyd – CEO of the Music Venue Trust in the UK - to hear about the pioneering policy looking to protect independent venues. Before Ramon De Lima, former Night Mayor of Amsterdam, tells us how the city dealt with safety and noise whilst promoting a clubbing culture. Finally we talk to George Griffin, owner of the Meraki nightclub in Liverpool to hear how a property development almost spelled the end for his business. 
     
    Plus: TOPOSOPHY’s takeaways on the benefits of welcoming nightlife to multiple neighborhoods in a city. 
     

    • 33 min

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