The Public Realm Lecture Series: Julia Unwin CBE

28th Sep 2011, 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Edge Hill University

The Centre for Local Policy Studies continues a major series of open lectures on the theme of the Public Realm with a talk by Julia Unwin CBE, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust.

The lecture is titled ‘The Common Good – What Does It Mean for People and Places in Poverty’ and takes place on Wednesday 28th September 2011 at the Ormskirk Campus.

The Public Realm

The existence of a public realm may be seen as the expression of a common ‘good’, the basis of a shared relationship between citizens. It is a recognition that there are areas of life that are not and should not be controlled by private interests.

We are entering a period where the boundaries of public and private are once again shifting. Distinctions between public and private have become increasingly blurred under successive governments since the 1980s and the pattern of debate, as the coalition government addresses the recession, can be seen as portraying ‘private’ as good and ‘public’ as bad. Yet many of the challenges that we face both nationally and globally evoke the public realm and its importance. The challenges of climate change, the digital and globalised economy, the crises in the banking system, the future of the welfare state all raise questions about the public realm, its scope and the way it is governed.

To explore these issues the Centre for Local Policy Studies has initiated a series of public lectures and debates on the Public Realm, its meaning and its future.

Julia Unwin CBE

Julia was appointed Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust in January 2007. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is an endowed charity that funds a large, UK-wide research and development programme. It seeks to understand the root causes of social problems, to identify ways of overcoming them and to show how social needs can be met in practice.

Prior to Julia’s appointment to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, she was a member of the Housing Corporation Board for ten years, a Charity Commissioner from 1998-2003 and Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency.

Julia has worked as an independent consultant operating within government and the voluntary and corporate sectors. In that role, she focused on the development of services, particularly the governance and funding of voluntary organisations. Her work includes extensive research and writing on the role, governance and funding of the voluntary sector.


  • 5.30pm – Arrival and drinks with canapés
  • 6.30pm – Public lecture commences
  • 7.30pm – Refreshments and networking

Book Your Place

Julia Unwin’s public lecture is free to attend and spaces are limited. To book your place, email