The Cambridge to Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition – Coming Soon

Chance to influence development and sustainable placemaking in key UK growth corridor


An upcoming ideas competition will offer the opportunity to broad multidisciplinary teams of placemakers, urban designers, related specialists and others to create conceptual proposals that creatively link new infrastructure with sustainable placemaking in the UK’s leading growth corridor.

The free-to-enter competition will seek ideas for balancing placemaking with development within the arc encompassing four of the UK’s fastest-growing and most productive centres: Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Oxford.

The competition is the initiative of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), which was asked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to: ‘Make recommendations to maximize the potential of the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor as a single, knowledge intensive cluster that competes on the global stage, whilst protecting the area’s high quality environment and securing the homes and jobs the area needs.’

With a new East West Railway and an Oxford to Cambridge expressway supported by the NIC and increasing demand for housing, the two-stage contest will be aimed at urban designers; architects; planning, policy, and community specialists; landscape designers; development economists; and others. International teams are welcome.

Through the competition, the NIC will be seeking visionary ideas for development typologies across the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor that can contribute to delivering the homes the area needs, integrate the delivery of infrastructure with high quality places and maintain the environmental and cultural character of the corridor.

The contest, organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, will launch at the end of June and conclude in the autumn.

Competition Director, Malcolm Reading, said:

‘This part of England is on the absolute cusp of change, new infrastructure is coming but now this needs to be integrated with imaginative and integrated placemaking that encourages a good social balance and easy access to natural landscapes and green spaces.’

Final preparations for the competition are in progress, with full details to be announced at the launch. More details are available on the competition website, with an option for automatic notification of launch.