VELOCITY, countrywide

VeloCity is a strategic vision that solves some of the most critical issues facing the countryside today, delivered by a team of industry experts.

Increasingly the housing crisis is placing huge pressure to build in the countryside but with solutions that only concentrate on towns, urban centres and developments along roads. It is clear we need a different approach. Up until now, little thinking has been given to how we support and reinvigorate villages. Traditional planning has led to rural areas being disconnected and only accessible by car.

VELOCITY

“By linking villages via a fine grain network of cycling and walking routes, villages could collectively grow and become viable and revitalised communities that are less reliant on the car and can support their local facilities“

This strategy seeks not only to address connectivity but also how we will live and work in the future and how we address climate change.

BLENHEIM ESTATE were inspired by VeloCity’s vision and appointed the team to develop a shared vision of how the estate and local communities can thrive by working together for the benefit of all. This vision forms a key element of Blenheim’s new Land strategy and together they have also developed a proposal for the wider area which they submitted to Oxfordshire Open Thought, addressing the aspirations of the Oxfordshire 2050 Plan, to create a sustainable future for the county.

“This plan has become even more relevant and timely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and we believe this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to completely re-evaluate our approach and look at how we can all work together to create a sustainable and better future for us all”

ROY COX, ESTATE DIRECTOR OF BLENHEIM ESTATE

“It is a place-based vision for reimagining the 21stCentury village.“

It will provide new homes and working environments whilst retaining distinct identities of existing villages. It creates healthier and more socially cohesive places, supported by a light touch, low cost infrastructure that will foster new employment opportunities and the enrichment of the natural environment.

SCALEABLE CLUSTERS

A Town cluster is made up of existing villages within a 7 mile catchment of a town with high speed transport links to train and bus which can be grouped into 3-4 clusters of 4-6 villages. Village clusters are within 1-2 miles of each other, which suits an older person or a child cycling to school. Walking and cycle routes are through the shared green heart of fields between the villages. This model can be repeated across the countryside wherever local centres/ transport infrastructure are located.

SHARING ECONOMY

With time the village clusters can become more ‘self-sufficient’ on a daily/weekly basis and are able to bring back and support the local schools, shops and pubs that are currently struggling in many villages.

Our winning proposal was one from 58 entries in a National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) competition seeking development typologies across the Cambridge – Oxford corridor that integrate placemaking with new infrastructure.

Our all-female multidisciplinary team includes Sarah from Featherstone Young, Judith Sykes from Expedition Engineering, Annalie Riches from Mikhail Riches, Petra Marko from Marko & Placemakers, Jennifer Ross from Tibbalds Planning & Urban Design, Kay Hughes from Khaa.

Wider applicability: Bridport Renewal Corridor – VeloCity partnering with railway engineers to reverse Beeching and open up an old railway line in Dorset to create a new very light rail and cycle/walking route bringing greater connectivity both for tourism and local residents in surrounding villages.

PUBLICATIONS

PLACES FOR LIFE II

VeloCity contribute to the Design Commission for Wales guide which explores the connection between the places where we live and our health, well-being, relationships, access to work, social life, and impact on the environment.

READ HERE

OXFORDSHIRE OPEN THOUGHT SUBMISSION

A proposal in partnership with Blenheim Estate submitted to Oxfordshire Open Thought, addressing the aspirations of the Oxfordshire 2050 Plan to create a sustainable future for the county.

READ HERE

RETHINK

Pata paribus, senterceps, vid deatus hil VeloCity’s contribution to the RIBA RETHINK DESIGN GUIDE addresses the challenges of a post-pandemic world in the countryside.

READ HERE

MODERN DAY PICTURESQUE

A VeloCity research report on existing and emerging models of rural densification launched at the RIBA in March 2020.

READ HERE

GROWING VILLAGES DIFFERENTLY

VeloCity’s manifesto for the 21st Century Village launched at the Oslo Architecture Triennale in September 2019.

READ HERE

AWARDS

William Sutton Prize for Excellence in Social Housing Design and Placemaking 2018

RIBA Research Fund 2018

International Making Cities Livable Conference Honorary Award, Ottawa, 2018

ALL VELOCITY ARTICLES AND TALKS

All VeloCity articles and talks READ HERE

VIDEOS

VeloCity promotional film  SEE HERE