Cambridge Ahead puts Placemaking as central theme to its annual seminar in January 2017


Cambridge Ahead’s annual seminar, ‘What Makes for a Successful UK City in the 21st century?’, will take place on the morning of 18th January 2017 and will highlight Placemaking and its relevance to Cambridge in the event agenda.

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Placemaking is a widely debated issue, especially its contribution to quality of life. It is arguably more so in high growth cities, where demand for those other aspects that contribute to a strong quality of life – housing, commuting, education and leisure – can rapidly outstrip supply. Cambridge Ahead has therefore invited two key speakers from outside the organisation to give their views at its annual event to be held in Granta Park.

Alexandra Jones, CEO of Centre for Cities, will talk about the factors that make cities successful in the 21st century, providing insights from national and international case studies to inform on the issues Cambridge will need to consider as it continues to grow. She will be followed by Dr Tom Holbrook, co-founder 5th Studio, a spatial design agency in Cambridge, who will talk about designing a first-class city with Placemaking as its core. Tom will provide insights on what the right architecture, urban design, infrastructure and landscaping can do for a city like Cambridge.

Also on the agenda will be a short presentation by Matthew Bullock, Chair of CA’s Growth team and Master of St Edmunds’ College, on the latest growth data on Cambridge-based companies and research centres. This will also include the results of a survey of the top companies in Cambridge regarding their links with the rest of the Eastern Region, local barriers to growth and their own ‘bottom up’ forecasts for growth of the Cambridge sub-region.

The event will conclude with a panel discussion on how the political landscape through Brexit and the results of Devolution for Cambridgeshire will impact the City’s growth, as well as looking at the research Grant Thornton are doing nationally on what makes a vibrant economy. The panel will include Jane Galvin (Managing Director Barclays Corporate Banking for the East & South East), Lord Andrew Lansley CBE PC, Mark Reeve (Chair, Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP) and Darren Bear (CEO Eastern Region, Grant Thornton).

For more information and to register for this free event, please visit the event page on the Cambridge Ahead website.



Cambridge Ahead is a business and academic member group dedicated to the successful growth of Cambridge and its region in the long term. We aim to represent the city’s business community by offering soundly-based opinion and advice to local and national governments about the opportunities and needs of the region.

Cambridge Ahead