North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Representation ID: 32828

Received: 24/03/2019

Respondent: Dr Peter Pope

Representation Summary:

Needed: a quality environment that opens hearts and minds to a sustainable future. Mixed development has great potential if it has Nature at its heart and co-operation, not competition, in its constitution.
Buildings should use timber, not concrete and steel, while every roof should harvest solar energy.

Full text:

The vision of 'a self-sustaining new City District' is a good starting point. The illustrations in this section show large water features which would be appropriate given the proximity of Chesterton Fen, the existing function around water as a vital resource and the quality of such natural environments for example in the London Borough of Hackney.
The proposal for mixed-use is a well worn objective that has proved hard to deliver. With both corner shops and traditional high streets in decline the commercial underpinning for mixed use is ebbing away. It is predicated on economic development that has moved online.
For innovation one needs to look at the development of social capital which has been eroded by the tunnel vision of economic growth. To serve people we need to embrace the concept of 'provisioning' to make sure that quality food is available, quality education and growing spaces that promote self reliance, mental health and clean air.'
Whereas the traditional core of a district is a row of shops, innovation should provide a library, Post Office, Citizens Advice, doctors surgery, Friends meeting house, school, community workshop, mindfulness centre, open air market, plant nursery, winter gardens as well as the inevitable coffee house. Historically cities have created a dependency on the consumer model that constrains human development and resilience when our uncertain future demands resourcefulness and open minds.
Development requires energy and every roof should harvest solar energy while embodied energy should be minimised by substituting timber for steel and concrete.