New infrastructure and place-making for 'science cities'

CABI head-quarters in Wallingford, Oxfordshire (Scott Brownrigg)

This week, Future Cities Forum asked questions about how new infrastructure and smart city travel could influence the improved design of our 'overheating science cities.'

In our forum involving Transport for the West Midlands, LDA Design, Stride Treglown and Scott Brownrigg, we gave a focus to the developing science cities of Birmingham and Cambridge to look at streamlining transport systems and improving place-making. We also looked at the design of the R&D campus, at the sustainability of design and the ability to brand the UK as an innovation leader through the built environment.

Preserving the attractiveness of science cities to attract and retain talent was taken up by LDA Design's Head of Cambridge Studio, Tom Perry. LDA-Design is asking for community views on a re-development of the historic market square in the centre of Cambridge. Tom said:

'Cambridge does have a future vision of being green and connected and improving cultural life, so quality of (outside) space is important as a way of attracting people back to the centre post Covid-19. The market in the centre of the city is a fantastic space, but we need this space to work harder. There are lots of issues - for instance the facilities for traders need improving, along with basic repairs and maintenance, but there are amazing buildings round the site which we need to show off.

'The city council asked us about the vision and way the site is used which is a functioning market square used on a daily basis but the space around this needs to be more flexible. So the question is, how can we create a space where things are moved around a bit and have some fantastic events there? It is a wide central