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Urban experts ask residents to ‘Step into Reading 2050’ – University of Reading

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Urban experts ask residents to ‘Step into Reading 2050’

Release Date 11 March 2016

Step into Reading 2050

What sort of Reading do we want in 2050? A two-day exhibition in Reading town centre this month aims to garner the ideas and enthusiasm of the people who live, work and play in Reading.

Taking place on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 March, the Step into Reading 2050 bus will be in the town centre to spark the imagination with ideas on what Reading could be like. Part of March's Reading Year of Culture focus on the future of Reading, Step into Reading 2050 will provide futuristic visions of Reading locations designed to transport people into a smart and sustainable future for the town.

Step into Reading 2050 is part of the Reading UK 2050 project led by Barton Willmore, Reading UK CIC and the University of Reading. To date, the project has consulted with a wide range of stakeholders including local businesses, charities, the public sector, academia and the local authority. Now, as part of the Year of Culture, Reading UK 2050 wants to tap into the experience of the local community.

A number of highly respected architects and designers already working in the area have produced sketches and plans for particular areas of Reading to inspire people and demonstrate how planning can create a bright future for our town. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see how the town could transform to support the local economy, provide employment or find housing solutions. Ideas covered in the exhibition might include floating communities, new innovation hubs, a new cultural quarter or a new lease of life for the IDR.

'We want to build on Reading's strengths as a place of festivals and culture, rivers and parks, and leading edge science and technology and help futurise its thinking' -- Professor Tim Dixon

Tim Dixon, professor in sustainable futures in the built environment at University of Reading said: "The ‘Step into Reading 2050' exhibition is a great opportunity for the Reading 2050 team to engage with the public and find out what people really think Reading will be like in the future.

"The aim is to help people visualise what smart thinking and green thinking can do to help make Reading a better place to live, work and play in. We want to build on Reading's strengths as a place of festivals and culture, rivers and parks, and leading edge science and technology and help futurise its thinking."

Nigel Horton-Baker, Executive Director of Reading UK CIC, said: "The aim of the exhibition is to encourage the local community to ‘Step into Reading 2050', immerse themselves in the future and think about where they, their children or grandchildren might live, work and play. We want to encourage them to share their views on what they like and where they see themselves in 35 years' time. These views will be key to making Reading a smart and sustainable place to live and work in the future."

The team behind the Reading UK 2050 initiative from Barton Willmore, Reading UK CIC and the University of Reading will be on hand to talk people through the ideas on the 18th and 19th March, and a dedicated social media campaign will encourage and facilitate contributions and feedback from everyone.  The Step in to Reading bus will on Reading Station forecourt on Friday 18 March and Broad Street on Saturday 18 March.

Keep your eyes peeled for #Reading2050. More information at www.reading2050.co.uk

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