The Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford arc is home to 3.3 million people. The region hosts some of the country’s most successful universities and high-tech manufacturing hubs and has a highly-skilled workforce. But its future success is threatened by significant housing constraints and transport pressures.
This ideas competition – MRC’s first – focused on essential challenges facing the UK, including how to accelerate the supply of affordable homes without sacrificing the quality of the environment and how to engage and enthuse the public in making the choices ahead. It showcased how new infrastructure can creatively enable new communities to flourish over the coming decades.
The competition, commissioned by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), caught the attention of many local planners and authorities across the UK as well as achieving coverage in The Spectator and the opinion columns of the international design media.
The winning, all-woman ‘VeloCity’ team devised a vision that offered a low-impact blueprint for delivering much-needed new homes while maintaining a person-centred scale and retaining the existing character of the area.
Bridget Rosewell, NIC Commissioner and competition jury chair, said:
The jury was drawn to VeloCity’s human scale approach to sensitively and incrementally accommodating new homes, alongside the team’s commitment to ensuring new settlements would be communities from the get-go.