The first Reading 2050 Workshop - May 2014

In May 2014, we ran a full day workshop, attended by over 50 invited delegates from Reading and its wider area, including major employers, academics, investors, entrepreneurs, planning experts and a wide range of Reading stakeholders.

The aim of the workshop was to take the first steps towards developing a smart and sustainable vision for Reading UK 2050.

Working in groups we ran three main sessions during the workshop. In the first two sessions each group was asked to focus the context of their response to the question asked, around one of three key elements – reflecting the 3 pillars of development


What should a Smart and Sustainable Reading look like in 2050? (Developing the vision)

What should Reading look like in 2050? How will it feel and what will it be like living there? How do we join smart technologies with sustainable thinking in Reading to set it apart, building on the strengths Reading already has?


How do we achieve a smart and sustainable Reading by 2050? (Developing the roadmaps)

What do we need to do, and by when, to achieve the Smart and Sustainable vision for Reading? This included the following key elements in the ‘roadmaps’ that were produced:

  • Governance structures – what needs to be in place, and by when, for the 2050 vision to happen?
  • Behavioural changes- what behavioural changes need to happen by whom and how can this be driven?
  • Key technologies – what are going to be the key energy, water and waste technologies which will underpin this transition and how best can they be deployed?
  • Other factors – what other factors need to be considered perhaps around resilience or other aspects of transition which we need to consider?


Spatial Mapping

This session focuses upon integrating the thinking from the earlier sessions into the fabric of Reading. This focused on scoping out the physical changes which could support the smart and sustainable vision, both in the short, medium and long term. Group work examined, through base maps at large and smaller scales, how specific key developments might emerge and what infrastructure changes were needed.

We used ‘postcards from the future’ to summarise the thinking of groups in sessions 1 and 2, and these were at the heart of developing the urban design scenarios for session 3.


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