Universities in unique position to “put back” into Canterbury

This is the ringroad on a Sunday lunchtime. This gridlock is one result of the relentless development around Canterbury and it’s environs. It is not realistic to prevent cars coming into the city, it doesn’t seem realistic to design accommodation for people and not the infrastructure for cars, because the transport infrastructure and public transport cost and options do not make it a reliably viable alternative. People would not opt to sit in this on a Sunday lunchtime if there was a better option but people need cars. The economy needs cars.
Canterbury ‘s development is significantly driven by both the UKC and Christchurch. The traffic operates on a very out of date ringroad, with vehicles passing through a medieval gateway (designed for carts). Both institutions have, like all universities, become big business first and foremost and it seems educational institutions second. The lands they hold do seem to be developed for the benefit of the institution, not the community they sit within.
My point is that both these institutions have now grown to a point where they are strong enough to put back. Instead of taking the easy money relentlessly developing, causing more environmental problems, they could look at the bigger picture. They have a unique opportunity to develop strategies and techniques, to graft or implant effective infrastructures into an already stress fractured through planning development) medieval city  (and its environs). To become institutions that advance  if you like the injection of such post development infrastructure that eases congestion and pedestrian congestion, drainage…without destroying the essential character of the city.. That the city becomes their prospectus. That the medieval city benefits, not just the institutions’ bank balance. This would surety have a huge market value in an ever overcrowded world. These are my thoughts on campus development.

Oliver Manning Press

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