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The rise of real estate in UK science cities

Image: From the FT Weekend 11/12 January 2020 by Hugo Cox on the 'biotech boom' and the region

We are very pleased to be able to include both local and national journalists at our forums to report on the issues of 'the moment' on city topics.

At our forum in Cambridge last November, we introduced Cambridge Ahead and Bidwells to the Financial Times for media interviews, both of whom have now been written about in this weekend's article, 'Cambridge Clever'. (see above)

The article discusses how a booming economy based around the science and techology industries has lifted property prices and put pressure on infrastructure and affordable housing.

This April Future Cities Forum will be holding a real estate and second 'science cities' event at Keble College Oxford University's new H B Allen Centre - which is home to the Oxford Robotics Institute and to Oxford Sciences Innovation - the University's preferred early stage investor for science-based companies.

This new quadrangle which is located between the Woodstock and Banbury Roads and close to the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, comprising research labs, offices, teaching space and student accommodation, was designed by MICA Architects.

Our forum will look at how we create and sustain successful city economies based on technology innovation, and how this is supported by infrastructure, education and housing investment. In particular we will look at the potential growth of the arc from Oxford to Cambridge, which the National Infrastructure Commission has ear-marked for one million new homes and jobs by 2050.

Planning authorities say the creation of new settlements and expansion of existing communities will need exemplary design if they are to avoid car-dominated sprawl, and achieve sustainability.

The investment in new universities such as MK:U will feature in our discussions, as this new model university for Milton Keynes is being planned to address the technological skills gap, especially in the digital area. Development that can build on the region's world-leading motor sports R&D expertise will also be discussed.

The forum will look at the rise in real estate values around our UK 'science cities', the attraction of talent, housing needs at all levels of those working in such cities and the efficiency of transport systems.

At our first 'science cities' event in Cambridge, delegates debated the investment, planning and infrastructure challenges that come with global success.

The Cambridge Independent and Financial Times attended the November forum, reporting on the issues Future Cities Forum raised during our debates - such as the design of new public / private sector science parks in Oxford and how the HS2 station at Curzon Street in Birmingham can link innovation districts in the wider city. Cambridge Building Society, which supported the event spoke about initiatives it is taking to help with the planning of housing, and Astra Zeneca contributed to the discussions on the topic of making transport sustainable for its growing workforce.

At our Oxford forum, there will be three panel discussions and two round tables following the successful format of our Cambridge forum, which allows for excellent networking and the sharing of ideas.

This month sees the start of our coverage on companies taking a strong drive on talent attraction and selection, beginning with the firm Jacobs which is expanding its new London office. See our careers page.

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