Preston's future on show at architecture roadshow

This is how Broadgate could be transformed to create a whole new energy efficient look.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 10:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 3:37 pm
New cycle routes and renewable energy were an important part of the vision

The radical new approach was revealed at the latest City-Zen roadshow to take place in the city exploring how the area might develop in the future.

The University of Central Lancashire project pulls together architects, creatives and residents in the area to look at ‘sustainable future city solutions’.

Jetties leading down to the River Ribble and trams heading up and down Fishergate Hill are some of the ideas from a week-long session in the city.

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Among the visions put forward for Broadgate were a covered walkway for locals

Other ideas include energy cascades running across the city down in to Broadgate, where high-level heat energy from recycling processes would make its way through underground district heating pipes into people’s homes.

And contributors felt Broadgate needs a centre with local shops selling local produce.

This could lead to the river edge, which would be made softer to allow people to enjoy activities such as rowing.

Professor of architecture at UCLan Craig Martin said: “The City-Zen Road Show has been going since 2015 and we do two a year in various places.

“The EU supports this and we try to co-create with stake holders from the city that we go to.

“We don’t have a suitcase of money to build things but we show them what is possible.

“We use experts in design, energy and technology and go to places that have challenges and show how it could be.”

An energy workshop was held at the Gujarat Hindu Society in South Meadow Lane as part of the week, with leader of the city council councillor Matthew Brown and interim chief executive of the city council Adrian Phillips both attending.

Mr Martin added: “We had five days with an ambient presence.

“We chose the Hindu Society as a base.

“In that time we get a good grounding of where the city is up to.

“The first day we take the professors round and we talk to the residents about flooding and challenges of the area.

“We show visibly how creative designs can reduce carbon footprint.

“We get a lot of questions about cost. What would be interested to find out is what the cost would be if we did NOT do it, in terms of our children’s children future health, energy, security, economy, happiness and survival.”

Local residents and business owners see the potential plans as a positive.

Mother-of-five Danielle Tunstall, 39, who lives on Taylor Street said: “I love it. I love the idea of the beach effect and it would be something for the children.

“It’s really cool, so nice.

“I think it would give a more community feel to the area and more shops would mean more job opportunities.

“I love the idea of it being sustainable too.

“It would be good for businesses and the area - you have to speculate to accumulate.”

Retired resident Gillian Grey, 77, who lives on South Meadow Lane has lived in the area for 16 years, added: “I think it would be a good idea.

“We need a few more shops as we only have a few. More of a centre would make it more of a community and it would seem more friendly.”

Local resident Sandra Edwards, 62, says activities would mean more for young people to do.

She said: “It would be great as it would be something for them to do.

“There is nothing around here for them at the moment.”

And local business owner Sarda Patel, 43, who owns Ganesh News on Broadgate welcomed the idea believing it to be good for business.

She said: “In the summer it is really nice here and people go to the park.

“This would be a positive step and could bring in more business.”