Future Cities Forum hosts Cambridge ‘Science Cities’ event

21 November 2019 • Corporate

On the 20th November, Future Cities Forum hosted its 18th cities forum at Newnham College, Cambridge University to debate future economy, infrastructure and housing planning for UK’s leading knowledge regions.

As a part of the panel discussion at this year’s forum, The Cambridge Building Society were joined by key contributors and influencers from in and around Cambridge to discuss economy, innovations, infrastructure and housing. Providing solutions to the ongoing challenges posed by housing concerns such as increased house and rental prices in the region are high on The Cambridge’s agenda. The Cambridge used their expertise to discuss the organic growth of the housing market in Cambridge and the importance of affordable housing in the region to combat these challenges.

At this Cambridge event, Future Cities Forum looked at how housing and social infrastructure can best be developed around knowledge clusters – whether they are centred around university, hospital or corporate R&D campuses. It is vital that joined-up planning is considered for the whole ecosystem around knowledge clusters including infrastructure provision, housing, access to schools, healthcare and culture. This debate included how urban clusters and science business parks relate to neighbouring communities and link across UK regions. 

East West Railway Company’s Director of Strategy, Will Gallagher and leading transport architect and station designer Neven Sidor, Partner at Grimshaw discussed the plans for the new railway line linking Cambridge and Oxford, and the role of strong design for infrastructure projects around city connectivity for the UK’s leading science and technology clusters.

The forum also discussed the growth of life science clusters in the UK, their position on the global stage, along with the search for international talent and the city environments that encourage innovation and collaboration, while creating sustainable and affordable neighbourhoods for the people that work and live there.

Chief Risk Officer of The Cambridge Building Society, Vicky Stubbs said: “As a regional Building Society, we are very aware of the difficulties prospect and current home owners have with buying a home in Cambridge. Cambridge is a unique hub of activity; residentially, academically and financially, with multiple developments ongoing in and around the City Centre to support organic growth in the region. As such, we take our responsibility of helping people have a home seriously.

“Whilst this is at the top of our agenda, we also recognise the challenges more housing and growth in the City has on congestion, rail links and the general infrastructure of Cambridge and surrounding areas.”

The forum was supported by round table discussions both before and after the conference along with a workshop exercise at the event involving all guests and contributors to draw together research for the Future Cities Forum on-line community.

Co-founder of Future Cities Forum, Heather Fearfield, added:

“We are delighted to welcome Vicky Stubbs back to Future Cities Forum, as she is so eloquent on the debate around the challenges of providing affordable housing and finance for the Cambridge region.”