Design for Living Study Tours

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Delegates will have the chance to take part in one of 4 study tours on offer on Day One (22 May) at the Design for Living Conference. Each tour provides an opportunity to see the city first hand and get an understanding of the thinking that has shaped Milton Keynes. They will provide some local context for the conference themes being discussed on Day Two (23 May) and also give delegates a chance to meet one another.

Each tour will start at 13.45 and finish at 16.45 and include a break for refreshments at a venue that has toilet facilities. The following tours are proposed.

Central Milton Keynes (Walking)

This walking tour will study the evolution of Central Milton Keynes and how key buildings and spaces have developed over time within the city’s modernist grid. We will look at the work of ‘Vision 2050’ which aims to implement projects to help build a stronger future for the city within the realms of education, mobility, culture and growth.

This focus will bring us to the sites of the new Milton Keynes University which is subject to an International Design Competition; the regeneration of Station Square; and the existing market and shopping centre. We will look at examples of how technology can revolutionise city centre travel, and the city’s approach to homelessness will also be presented.

This will be led by a range of speakers who are instrumental to existing and future development in Milton Keynes. We will break at the rooftop of Victoria House which overlooks the east of the city and which provides an opportunity to debate the future of Central Milton Keynes.

The Green City: Living Landscape Tour (Cycling)

This cycling tour is an opportunity to experience the City’s famous and extensive Redway Cycle Network first-hand. We will consider the natural and historic environment of Milton Keynes and how these assets were cleverly integrated to establish a thriving city, set within a rich and varied landscape.

Our open space meets the needs of city dwellers for relaxation, healthy living, sporting activities, recreation, entertainment, art, play and spiritual uplift, as well as providing a setting for residential and commercial developments.

The tour will discover how the rich heritage of Milton Keynes, before it became a New Town, and the existing topography, natural framework and water bodies, ‘the Green and the Blue’, were carefully integrated and inexorably linked with the development of the new city.

We will break at The Parks Trust, where Chief Executive, David Foster, will talk to us about the role of the Trust, the new city legacy, and lessons learned, as we look forward to the future and the need to grow with the same inspirational thinking. In this way the heritage and identity of our City can be taken forward with confidence.

Housing, Communities and Innovation: Aspirations and Challenges (Cycling)

Using the City’s famous and extensive Redway network, this tour will look at the eastern quarter of Milton Keynes where large scale urban extensions are being implemented.

This tour will demonstrate the aspirations and challenges that development has faced in integrating new housing with a range of uses including schools, health centres, local centre facilities and open space provision. With over 5,000 new dwellings in this new area of the City, this is crucial to creating a liveable and healthy environment.

The tour will look at a series of new developments which are filling out the existing grid and using the City’s landscape as an asset. We will break at Oakgrove where Peter Cusdin, Development Director at Crest Nicholson, will present the development philosophy of Oakgrove and what this means for design quality. He will also cover themes of innovation in housing construction and the need for off-site manufacturing.

Wider Milton Keynes (Bus)

This tour will take members by bus to a series of suburbs in Milton Keynes, showcasing how the City has evolved and addressed the subject of ‘Design for Living’ around its wider modernist grid.

This will include visiting early experiments in Modernist city planning at Netherfield; the rediscovery of the original goals of the MK Master Plan in the 80’s at Great Holm; the regeneration of the City’s industrial heritage at Wolverton and finally to the latest examples of community building in the eastern flank of the city.

There will be the opportunity to hear from a range of representatives from community organisations and the development community who have been instrumental in the formation of existing and future development in Milton Keynes.

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