Oxford Brookes University hosts debate about Oxfordshire’s NeighbourhoodsBy Oxford Brookes The Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment Oct 14, 2013 4:29PM UTC
On Tuesday 10th September, the Department of Planning at Oxford Brookes University hosted a debate looking at how it can make Oxford’s neighbourhoods fit for the 21st century.
As the city struggles to cope with increasing demands on resources, it needs to discover sustainable ways to develop to ensure it continues to be a unique and desirable place to live. The event, titled ‘The Way We Live’, was co-organised by Oxford Brookes University, the Academy of Urbanism, and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). Discussion focussed on how to grow Oxford into a world-class city.
Oxford Brookes hosted a series of presentations and group workshops focused on the importance of local authorities to provide vital leadership for affordable housing and improved neighbourhoods, and to make the most of transport upgrades across the region. Georgia Butina Watson, Head of the Department of Planning at Oxford Brookes and Dr Nicholas Falk, Director of the Urbanism, Environment and Design consultancy gave a presentation highlighting how run-down areas of cities can be retrofitted and improved.
The afternoon symposium drew on various case study examples, including Holland’s concept of networked cities. John Worthington, Director of the Academy of Urbanism and one of the leaders of the debate, suggested that this concept brought great benefits to towns in that area and it is very appropriate for central Oxfordshire.
The evening debate was led by keynote speaker Wulf Daseking, who directed the development of Freiburg in Germany and was responsible for its Charter for Sustainable Development. He said that our “beautiful city is strangled by traffic,”, and that Oxfordshire would need to raise its game if it was to continue to attract vital global investment in research and compete with leading university cities such as Harvard and Yale.
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