Sunday, 21 June, 2020


Jamie Ounan

We believe that the best solutions are yet to be discovered and the best outcomes yet to be delivered. That is why we prepare organisations for change and help them implement it. We do this through an intimate understanding of their business, a relentless focus on delivery, the use of techniques that challenge the status quo and bridge traditional disciplines. We provide a range of services to public and private organisations including project and programme management, property consultancy, change management and strategy development and strategic advice. Contact us to discuss a project.

Sunday, 21 June, 2020



Happy Father’s Day. ICC’s founder Jamie Ounan’s father was a fantastic carpenter who simultaneously sparked his interest in craftsmanship and cities. His influence is strong in our ethos and most tangibly felt in our office furniture, which he helps construct. Ahhh, we miss that place.


We’re observing a case of onwards and upward for many business and public sector organisations, but there is more than a hint of Gramsci’s “optimism of the will, pessimism of the intellect” right now.  Many families continue to be devastated by the virus and our thoughts and love go out to the members of our team who recently lost loved one.


With transmission rates down (but far from zero) and behaviours moderated, we are rightly seeing a significant proportion of the headspace and attention turning to the economy.  Our long history of research and practical delivery of regeneration programmes means that we know only too well that the determinants of health are rooted in a wide range of urban planning issues. Housing, gainful employment, and our environment (including air quality) are hugely important to mortality rates and quality of life. Tackling these knotty issues is a massive motivator for our team in tough times.


We are seeing several of our clients moving quickly to think through and refresh their economic strategies, such as Waltham Forest’s Recovery Action Plan – a clear statement of intent for their communities, partners and Government. Here at ICC, we have developed SIRAT, a tool to rapidly assessing stock investment and renewal programmes, to ensure communities are getting the quality homes they are entitled to and investment is flowing into local communities in a way that builds local wealth and tackles the climate crisis.

Moving beyond the core determinants of health, we find ourselves in an area of economic and human activity that we believe is vital to quality of life: arts and culture. The UK’s access to arts and culture has profoundly changed our team member’s lives and believe it will change our children’s lives. We all need to invest in the sector to help it through this period. That’s why we are heartened by Lambeth’s hardship fund, which repurposes development finance for small business and cultural grants. We need to replicate this across the country.


Well done to our Emma Peters, who’s organising a webinar series on the arts, local authorities, and the role of the development community. We’re partnering with The Voice of Authority and U+I for this insightful series.



We’re learning that the job titles of public sector leaders are changing fast. Titles such as Director of Place, moved to Director of Growth, which have now adjusted to monikers such as Inclusive Growth and Community Wealth Building. We’re skeptical about titles, but recent changes are, more often than not, signalling a very real desire and increasingly profound change in actions. Watch out for our webinar series on how the holders of these titles are using COVID19 and the #buildbackbetter agenda to transform their local economies.


We’re also recommending another look at Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now: the case for reason, sicken, humanism and progress. It is a bold and extremely articulate take down of myths, fake news, and demagoguery. His mastery of quantitative data shows the progress our world is making in almost every issue, including equalities. It provide balance in an unstable world and reason to strive for progress even when the headwinds feel strong.



It’s National Windrush Day on Monday and one of our clients is leading the way on honouring this generation. Hounslow Council is launching a new Diverse Communities Histories Archive project, which captures the stories and experience of Windrush generations that settled in the borough.


In case you missed it online, a couple of extra brilliant members of our team have been recognised by two separate professional bodies: the MCA Awards and the Planning and Placemaking Awards. A word of congratulations to our stellar MCA Award Finalists, which you can see here. After winning Planning Consultancy of the Year in 2019, we are honoured to have been shortlisted again for our outstanding projects and incredible clients in the Planning and Placemaking Awards. You can read the full shortlist here.