UK Property Forums consultant Hugh Blaza looks ahead to a crucial opportunity to discuss the future of Oxford.
There’s less than a month to go now before OxProp Summit 2023 takes off.
On April 19, speakers and delegates will gather at the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre at Worcester College to hear what the key stakeholders in the private and public sectors think about the issues and opportunities affecting the city of Oxford.
It is no exaggeration to say that Oxford is experiencing unprecedented change. Attracted by the boom in life sciences and tech, not to mention the magnetic draw of the university’s status as the best in the world, investment is pouring into the city and its satellite clusters.
The resulting development activity is breath-taking. And all this before the colossal transformation being planned for the western quarter of the city has even started to happen.
Can the city and its ceremonial county cope with the demand the growth is creating? Avid readers of the Oxford Times could be forgiven for thinking it cannot. Disagreement between neighbouring district councils and Oxford City Council over how to calculate housing need, let alone how to deliver it, show no sign of let-up.
House prices are among the highest outside London, meaning even ambitions to provide ‘affordable’ housing look rather meaningless.
Then there’s the traffic. Low traffic neighbourhoods have been introduced to restrict the parts where cars are to be allowed. Even more radical proposals to limit the passage of private cars through Oxford have the city’s businesses up in arms. Can public transport satisfy the demand economically and efficiently?
The region’s rates of unemployment are virtually zero. But with talk of thousands more jobs being created, where will the workers come from? And how will they get to where they need to go? If working from home is withering on the vine, a means of transport, if affordable housing cannot be created on the doorsteps of the jobs, will have to be provided.
And then there are the businesses themselves: how and where will they be accommodated? Can the city maintain a low-rise approach to commercial development or has the time come when building higher is the only solution?
And last, but by no means least, both the city and University of Oxford are committed to hitting net zero targets by the end of the decade.
All of which comprise an unprecedented challenge. And UK Property Forums, in partnership with Oxford City Council will be tackling the issues head on at our summit. Leading the discussions, the council’s chief executive Caroline Green will set the scene and our dynamic panel sessions will tackle the themes in detail.
Click here to see what we’ll be covering and who will be sharing their knowledge and visions with our audience.
Tickets are still available but are selling fast. Don’t delay! Anyone invested in the future of the city of Oxford needs to hear first-hand what the issues really are and how they can be addressed.
Image shows OxPropSummit in 2022.
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