The Island Quarter can transform city living, says leading urban expert

Watch the full webinar here: https://youtu.be/j1TeFstLLvk

A world-leading urban scientist has thrown his support behind The Island Quarter  during a recent webisode. 

Professor Carlos Moreno, who created the concept of a 15-minute city where inhabitants have access to all the services they need within their immediate vicinity, told the audience at the latest CC Live webisode that the Nottingham development has all the characteristics to transform the way people in the city live, work and spend time. 

Speaking during a live Q&A with audience members, Professor Moreno said: “I’m very happy that The Island Quarter and Nottingham is exploring the 15-minute city concept. The main attribute for cities looking to change in this way is a desire to transform their current model of urban life.  

By having that, the city of Nottingham has the chance to develop a polycentric model, with The Island Quarter being one of the sectors. There is the potential for totality of services and urban social functions within a happy proximity, which is the 15-minute city in a nutshell.” 

Alongside Prof Moreno and Christopher Ware, the webisode also heard from The Nottingham Project’s Lee Walker.

Appearing alongside Professor Moreno was Christopher Ware, property director at The Island Quarter’s developer Conygar, who told the audience about the company’s reasons for investing in the city. 

Ware said: “Our intentions for The Island Quarter site have always been for it to be truly mixed-use – we wanted to avoid the creation of an office district that shuts down at 6pm on a Friday and becomes somewhere you don’t want to walk through. 

“This is where our plans pair quite nicely with the 15-minute city concept, as we want the site to reflect the full lifecycle, from student accommodation, to offices where those students may then have their first job, to areas for family homes. 

“The whole opportunity is very exciting. Nottingham has a young population – the proportion of young people is comparable to Berlin and Amsterdam – and is seen as a bit of a fintech hub. There’s a strong underlying entrepreneurial spirit, but we feel that maybe there’s been a lack of a voice to shout about it.  

“We see The Island Quarter working along with other projects in the city to harness the energy that’s naturally there, because we see the demand for what the site can offer. 

Ware also gave an overview of the next steps for the site, which had lain derelict for many years before Conygar’s purchase of the former Boots Island in 2016.  

“The opening phase of the site is well underway and it’s going to really open up the canalside area, which has been such an underused part of the city for a number of years. It’s creating some really exciting public realm, which is going to bring the people of the city back to The Island Quarter site. 

“We’ve submitted the planning application for the next phase – which is the cohesive-use building adjacent to the opening phase – and we’ll be submitting a further application for some student accommodation in the coming months as well. 

“We’re also working hard in the background on a number of other elements of the site including the heritage warehouses, which we know are of great interest and a lot of people will be interested to hear our proposals when they come forward.” 

As well as the live Q&A, attendees heard the thoughts of BioCity’s CEO Toby Reid, The Nottingham Project’s director Lee Walker and Dr Lucelia Rodrigues from the University of Nottingham, who talked about The Island Quarter’s potential for creating a new community. 

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