Northstowe welcomes Allies and Morrison

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 15:15

Northstowe is pleased to announce that Allies and Morrison has been contracted to create the Northstowe town centre strategy. Here’s what the architects and urban planners had to say about their involvement.

The town centre strategy for Northstowe is a great project for us and we are really looking forward to getting involved. The creation of a new town offers a lot of promise as well as a responsibility to get things right and ensure the whole place is hard wired for success.

We hope the project’s ambitious vision will set the tone from the start – to be an exemplar for sustainable development, which mixes together places for living, working and making. What we should be aiming to achieve is something that is far from a commuter town, a great place to live which is also an incubator for talent and enterprise, resilient in the long-term.

The wider context of Cambridgeshire, as one of the fastest growing regions in Europe, offers one of the best possible places in which to achieve these ambitions.

As urbanists, we are known for producing thoughtful strategies to guide sustainable development. We are always very interested in the local context and in every place we work, we spend time getting into the grain of the place.

While each project we come to is different, we will naturally draw on our previous experiences in helping to shape the character of new communities, or pieces of city, and we fuse this with an emerging appreciation of each place in which we work.

We have helped to shape the strategies for successful transformations within existing cities such as King’s Cross redevelopment in London, Guildford Town Centre and Heart of Sheffield.

In Cambridge, where we have a studio, we have been doing a lot of work with institutional clients as they look to unlock value from their land assets within the context of a knowledge-driven economy. We are also involved in the creation of new places as well with other projects such as Eastleigh Garden Village and Letchworth Town Centre. It will be interesting to see how we can learn from these experiences to inform our work at Northstowe.

Our job at Northstowe will be to look in some detail at economic, technological and wider lifestyle trends in retail, employment, education and sustainability, to look at how the future town centre should be structured and what land use mix it should incorporate.

For us, it is an intellectually interesting project, because it will involve having to undertake an important piece of research on the latest trends in co-locating working and living, and testing new typologies and formats with an output that will directly influence the next phase of development.

The key aim is to make the emerging framework as responsive and flexible as possible to allow new businesses to start up and grow, rather than designing for brands and chains. We’re very much looking forward to it.

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