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Public, Private: Sustainable Precinct Development

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on February 8th, 2010

Source: The Ecologist

From “Forget eco-towns – real green house-building is already happening“, by Eifion Rees, 12th January, 2010:

Cambridge University’s expansion plans could change the face of sustainable building in the UK. In 2012, construction begins on the greenest development of its size and scope in the UK.

As far as trailblazing green building initiatives go, the development known as North West Cambridge (its official name as well as location) looks rather uninspiring at the moment, merely fields bounded by busy roads on the outskirts of an East Anglian university town. There aren’t many clues to suggest that, when construction begins here in 2012, it will change the face of sustainable building in the UK.

But that is what is scheduled to happen here with the creation of what will effectively be a new city quarter. The land is owned by Cambridge University, and the scheme is intended to accommodate the academic institution’s expansion over the next 25 years, when numbers of students and staff are expected to increase by 8,000.  As a result 3,000 new homes will be built on this patch of the greenbelt, together with new faculty and research buildings, and a significant number of community facilities. This week, emulating universities in the US, Cambridge issued bonds for the first time with the aim of raising £400 million towards the cost of the £1 billion project.

From the North West Cambridge website:

The masterplanning proposals for the University of Cambridge’s North West Cambridge site are moving forward. To continue the success of this collaborative process we would like to obtain your views on the emerging masterplan. To this end, we have recently held a Public Exhibition as well as Public Workshops. These exhibitions and workshop form the next stage in the process of preparing the masterplan for the site – and provided an opportunity for stakeholders to contribute and comment on the proposals. The information that was on display includes:

* Introduction to the North West Cambridge project: The University’s need and vision – an introduction to what the project will offer local residents, students, faculty, staff and local businesses. This includes 3,000 new homes, 100,000 m2 of academic and commercial research space, accommodation for 2,000 students and local facilities and green spaces.

* Site: Context The site’s location and landscape features, and various site-specific opportunities that the masterplan should respond to.

The latest versions of the masterplan are available for public download, and are separated into four layers: Indicative Urban Structure, Indicative Landscape & Open Space, Indicative Land Use, and Indicative Access & Movement.

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