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      Present Made of Eddington: Designing Future Communities

      The challenge that emerges in creating new communities in the Arc, to meet the needs of a growing population and to house the industrial and research power of the UK economy, is how to plan for growth in a way that progressively builds upon – rather than dilutes – that collective culture.

      21 Feb 2022 Jo Cowen, Principal CEO, Jo Cowen Architects

      England’s ancient cities and the centuries of lived history baked into their bricks sets a high bar for placemakers. The likes of London, Oxford, Cambridge have the privilege of a 1000-year advantage of selectivity and experimentation; time to improve, learn, and relearn, like potters carefully shaping clay.

      Future community-building carries the burden of great expectations, not only in the shadow of a long legacy but also when benchmarked against the original ‘garden cities’ of Welwyn and Letchworth located on the Oxbridge Arc’s fringes which are built testaments to the idea that organic town planning is possible. 

      The challenge that emerges in creating new communities in the Arc, to meet the needs of a growing population and to house the industrial and research power of the UK economy, is how to plan for growth in a way that progressively builds upon – rather than dilutes – that collective culture

      In equal measure, when adding to the fabric of cities like Cambridge that for hundreds of years had extraordinarily measured and conservative growth, care has to be taken so those future spaces do not simply become absorbed by neighbouring communities, but standalone as modern places that own their identity. The ‘future capital’ of the Arc depends on striking this delicate balance, in a fraction of the time that our predecessors enjoyed.

      Take Present Made of Eddington, the flagship scheme of Apache Capital’s single family housing arm Present Made. Designed by Jo Cowen Architects, the £160m GDV project is part of the University of Cambridge’s wider Eddington master plan. The development will help the University retain and attract talent by providing high quality housing that is flexible yet secure in tenure, aspirational but still attainable in pricing and has convenience, sustainability and health and wellbeing at the very core of the resident offering.

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