Remaking Barnsley: a useful masterplan model?

Dissertation for the MA in Urban Design at the Joint Centre for Urban Design, Oxford Brookes University

Philip Kassanis


The research aims to gain more understanding about the art and science of masterplanning by examining Will Alsop’s masterplan for Barnsley (2003). This is chosen as a case study because it encapsulates many of the issues that face masteplanners in today’s world: Barnsley more than most places in the UK is in desparate need of regeneration and therefore the masterplan cannot afford to fail; and Will Aslop’s product is extreme in its imaginative imagery and demands a study of how helpful it is. The study looks at what is needed to ensure successful regeneration and explores the issues surrounding image and identity. To do this it has developed a tool for theoretically assessing masterplans which it uses on the case study before comparing this assessment with the empirical evidence of the masterplan’s impact. It discusses how this tool might be taken forward for use by practitioners to reduce the scope for failure. It finds, contrary to the view of many in the property and professional worlds, that underneath the images, Alsop’s masterplan is: a sound piece of work; supported by the local community; central to the Council’s current efforts five years on; responsible for a stream of influential projects; and has a good chance of long term success.

The following are links to the introduction and closing statements……….

Dissertation-closing statements

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