Professor Guy Daly, Chair of HCI – “Welcome to the website of the Human City Institute. We are a research charity and think-tank based in Birmingham. We hope that the website opens a door onto our work and engages those who share our goal of creating more ‘human’ cities, towns and villages. You may be interested in our ‘Supporting HCI’ section. Should you wish to provide feedback, please use our ‘contact form’. Many thanks and we hope you find the website informative and stimulating.”
Founded in 1995/96 by largely Christian academics at Westhill College, HCI has a recognised history of research into ‘human city’ issues, and management of community projects. David Clark was appointed as HCI’s first Director, and three administrative staff were later employed plus a number of Human Neighbourhood Project workers. Funding for these posts came from a wide range of grants, but largely from the Community Fund of the National Lottery Charities Board and Government departments.
From 1995 to 2000, HCI’s main endeavours were its Bulletin, its Future Papers, its public Hearings, its Human City Sites programme, and its Human Neighbourhood Project (operating in Bradford and Swindon as well as Birmingham). From 2000 to 2006, the Human Neighbourhood Project came very much to the fore. A small Human Schools Project and a project involving the police, both focussing on Birmingham, were also undertaken.
In 2007, after a period of reappraisal, HCI was re-launched as a research-based agency which sought to influence debates about urban, housing, health and community policies. The idea was to develop a virtual ‘thinktank’ which would not be top-heavy with staff but would operate through coalitions and partnerships. SWS Communications were appointed by the new Board of Trustees to manage the charity on their behalf with Kevin Gulliver of SWS Communications to act as our Director and SWS Communications’ Dawn Prentice to operate as our Public Affairs Manager.
Alongside the development of an updated Constitution, new Corporate Plan and recruitment of Trustees, HCI’s place in a contemporary setting was completed in 2010. HCI is now building upon its legacy and unique contribution to revitalisation of discussions about the nature of ‘human’ communities.
HCI today is an independent research charity with a well-developed, thematic programme of work funded mainly via sponsorship, partner agencies and grants.
In recent times, HCI has produced a range of reports, books, summaries and articles, while running ten media campaigns to highlight key policies relating to creating more ‘human’ communities.