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University of Cambridge Estates and Southwark Council join our science cities and housing forum

R&D 2 at Babraham Research Campus, Cambridgeshire (BioMed Realty)

Future Cities Forum will discuss the expansion of science R&D and hospital sites in UK cities as well as supporting affordable and key worker homes, in its first online event of 2021 with Cambridge University, David Lock Associates, BDP, Southwark Council, Scott Brownrigg, Oxford City Council, Stride Treglown, and BioMed Realty.

The discussion is part of an ongoing series of talks with a focus on the over-heating of science cities and the need for joined-up planning for housing, jobs and transport in centres of research excellence that continue to try to attract world talent to settle in liveable areas where 'place' and affordable housing is of the utmost importance.

Our discussions began in late 2019 with a conference at Newnham College Cambridge involving Oxford University Hospitals, AstraZeneca, Trinity College Cambridge, the Oxford Science Park, and Innovation Birmingham among others, and since then we have run two more forums - led by the Infrastructure & Projects Authority - looking at planning and design for the Oxford - Milton Keynes - Cambridge Arc and comparing development models in England and Scotland with Sweden and Germany.

Graham Matthews, Director of Estates at the University of Cambridge will be discussing the provision of key worker housing at Eddington, north west of the city centre. The University has set out to create modern, affordable homes for University staff within reach of the heart of the city by foot, bike and the U bus route, linking Eddington to the train station and biomedical campus on the Addenbrookes Hospital site.

Graham has been with the University since 2019, joining from Auckland Airport where he led the development and delivery of the airport's $6bn expansion programme. Before that he held senior positions in property and construction consultancy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Colin Wilson, Head of Regeneration Old Kent Road, London Borough of Southwark, will also be part of our forum. He will talk about collaboration with developers and consulting with the community on providing affordable housing and key worker homes close to the proposed Bakerloo Line stations at Burgess Park and Asylum - which are all of relevance for staff working at university campuses and health trusts in south east London and local businesses. Colin stresses the importance of having both a higher education presence in the area and said that the London School of Economics (LSE) is set to develop a new student halls campus nearby.

Simon Pugh, Partner at David Lock Associates will be giving an overview of planning for housing along the Oxford-Cambridge Arc where a new technology and science university (MK:U) will be built at Milton Keynes. He is heavily involved in strategic scale spatial masterplanning within the Arc, and several very large-scale Garden Community proposals for both public and private sectors. Simon's fundamental motivation is to 'deliver the vision', not just to produce quality master plans and concepts, but to engage with stakeholders to ensure delivery of quality places for people.

Stride Treglown's Divisional Director Simon Boundy, specialises in healthcare, bringing his understanding of technical requirements to the briefing, design and delivery of healthcare buildings across the UK. With expertise in research design, he has also delivered a number of laboratories for universities and healthcare providers in the UK and overseas. He will talk about the regeneration at Derriford (Plymouth) and Southampton Hospitals and release of land for housing at Ashford and St Peter's NHS Trust.

BDP's Architect Director and Head of Science, Research & Technology, Keith Papa, will discuss the expansion of sustainable university science buildings, BDP received the commission to work on The Maxwell Centre, University of Cambridge with the aim to expand the University's world class Cavendish Laboratory and advance the scale of industrial engagement for the benefit of the economy and society.

Keith told Future Cities Forum that despite the change in home-working from Covid-19, the need for physical space for scientists will not going away:

'Scientists will still need to work in labs but the question is how you draw in the wider community to innovation hubs? There still needs to be a singular vision around a science cluster and the work that Birmingham University has done in building 'a green heart' through landscaping has helped build a brand that has encouraged people in.'

Scott Brownrigg's Group Director Bruce Calton, who has worked with Harlow Council on delivering consent for Harlow Science Park will also join the discussions. Graduating from Oxford Brookes University with Diplomas in Architecture and Urban Design, Bruce has a wide experience of multi-sector masterplanning, particularly of new complex urban areas.

Bruce also represents the practice’s membership of the UK Science Park Association strengthening its existing skills and sector experience in Science and Innovation Campus design, enterprise hubs, bio medical and laboratory design for universities.

Our speakers will also be joined Oxford City Council's Chief Executive Caroline Green and Head of Regeneration and Economy Carolyn Ploszynski, and also Orestis Tzortzoglou, Development Director at BioMed Realty, the owner and operator of both Granta Park and Babraham Research Campus near Cambridge.

At our 2019 forum Oxford University Hospitals' CEO Bruno Holthof commented that there is a strong need for carefully planned housing both on the hospital's Headington Campus and throughout the city, while Biomed Realty recently reported that despite the pandemic, demand for space from start up science and technology companies has remained strong on its business park locations. See image above.


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