26 Jul 2011

Nicholas Crane explores the character of towns

Nicholas Crane in Ludlow

Nicholas Crane in Ludlow

Broadcast Thursday 28 July, 9pm on BBC 2.

Towns, whether seaside, countryside or aspiring to be cities, will be explored in a new series by The Open University and BBC, and produced by Tern Television. Town with Nicholas Crane aims to put towns back on the map and refocus them as important sustainable communities amongst predictions that by 2030 a staggering 92 per cent of us will be living in urban areas.

For most people, that conjures up the bright lights and big opportunities of our great cities. But there is another way to live the urban life: Towns - smaller than cities but more intimate and much greener.

Geographer and adventurer Nicholas Crane will explore four iconic British towns: Scarborough, a survivor perched on the edge of Yorkshire; Ludlow on the Welsh border, the quintessential English country town; Perth, gateway to the Scottish highlands and a town that wants to be a city; and Totnes in Devon, birthplace of a new environmental vision for the future. In each programme he uncovers the secrets of their survival; the reasons for their enduring appeal; and what they can teach people today about living the urban dream.

Dr Gerry Mooney, Academic Consultant for The Open University, said: “Town with Nicholas Crane provides a great platform to explore some of the key social sciences issues of today around questions of community, sustainability, inequality, diversity and power, and through areas of the UK that have often been overlooked in academic and policy making debates.”

The four programmes will be broadcast on Thursdays at 9pm, BBC2, starting on 28 July with Ludlow, then featuring Scarborough, Perth and Totnes.

Additional learning resources focusing on the featured towns and others across the UK will be available on the OpenLearn website from the start of the series. For further information, please see link (right).

Programme Credits
Town with Nicholas Crane is a partnership between The Open University and the BBC, and produced by Tern Television.

Executive Producer for the BBC is Sam Anthony; Executive Producer for Tern TV is Harry Bell; Series Producer is Colin Cameron. The Open University academic consultants for the series are Dr Gerry Mooney and Matt Staples.

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