Jetties leading down to the River Ribble and trams heading up and down Fishergate Hill are just some of the ideas from a week-long session in the city.Advertisement
The City-Zen roadshow toured the Broadgate area of the city to look at how the road and surrounding streets could develop in years to come.
Run by the University of Central Lancashire the project pulled together architects, creatives and residents in the area to look at ways the area could be improved.
Professor of architecture Craig Martin explained: We’ve spent an intensive week working with local businesses, councillors and residents on sustainable future city solutions for Preston. We’ve focused on Broadgate, but many of the ideas can be applied to other areas of the city. Our proposals may at first appear radical, but they are actually formed by the place itself and are needed to respond to a massive challenge – climate change.
“During the week we’ve learnt that sustainability isn’t for experts to solve alone, but for everyone to come together and contribute. Sustainability is not about sacrificing something, but instead getting value and enjoyment out of our neighbourhoods and better connecting them.
“At the start of the Roadshow, citizens understandably ask how much these designs will cost to build? But by the end, the question is how much will it cost if we don’t build! In terms of our children’s children future health, energy security economy, happiness and survival.”
An energy workshop was held at the Gujarat Hindu Society in South Meadow Lane as part of the week, with leader of the city council councillor Matthew Brown and interim chief executive of the city council Adrian Phillips both attending.
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Cllr Brown said: “It’s a really good initiative and one we fully support. Climate change is a pressing issue of our time and as the Government hasn’t taken the lead, it is down to cities to take it up. We’re a progressive and forward-thinking Council and we’d be foolish to not look at ideas such as this. Some of the ideas I’ve seen today have great potential, such as implementing locally produced energy, and we want to take forward plans that are realistic and deliverable.”
Adrian Phillips said: “The Council is an influencer, but we can’t make changes alone and need valued local partners, such as UCLan, to implement positive change. The City-zen Roadshow brings together people with various expertise to come up with ways to improve how people enjoy living and working here and, at the same time, make it more energy efficient. Preston has its challenges such as pollution, congestion and poor home insulation so I’m excited to see some innovative ideas on the table that local residents can play a part in developing.”
One of the architects taking part was John Bridge who has recently set up his own architect studio in Winckley Square and the designer behind Preston’s new market hall.
He said: “I welcome projects that get people talking about regeneration and this is the perfect conduit to do this. There is nothing stopping us from turning Preston into a clean energy city. We don’t need to copy what other cities are doing, we can come up with our own exciting ideas.”
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What do you think of the futuristic proposals? Let us know your views on how the city should develop in the comments below