Protecting heritage and the natural environment along with a determination to make Oxford more affordable is at the heart of an ambitious vision of how the city will look and feel in 2050.
The long-awaited Oxford2050 plan, which will provide framework for all future decisions in the city, was unveiled this week.
The comprehensive document sets out the city’s aspirations for life across five themes – the built and natural environment, work and learning, transport and connectivity, people and community and culture and leisure.
More ‘low-rise apartment blocks’ are proposed for East Oxford, Headington, Cowley and Summertown with housing density to be increased to strike a balance between affordable homes and green land.
Oxford City Council, which is behind the project, stressed that while five per cent of the city’s green belt will be built on, ‘high value’ environmental land will be protected.
Newly-appointed city council leader Susan Brown described the vision as a “real asset” to the city’s future.
She said: “A vision for Oxford’s future that we can use to guide the city council’s policies is a real asset that will help us meet the aspirations of Oxford city residents.
“We hope that the vision reflects the hopes and aspirations of the city.
“Ultimately, we do not know how technology, global politics or climate change will affect Oxford over the next 32 years, and for that reason the vision will be a living document that we update every four years to reflect current thinking.
“For now, Oxford2050 gives our direction of travel and I hope a great many of us can look back in 2050 and see the benefits of what was started in 2017.”
There were more than 500 responses to a two-month consultation that ended in January.
Cllr Brown thanked the public for the ‘fantastic’ response.
She said: “We are very grateful to the large number of people who took the time to send us their thoughts, a number of which were very detailed, during the consultation.
“Without them we could not have produced this document.”
Oxford2050 will be a living document and will be updated every four years to incorporate changing technologies and social and economic changes that take place after 2018.
The next stage will involve residents and organisations feeding back on how they could contribute to the aims.
For more information and to read the full version of Oxford2050 visit www.oxford2050.com.