Vision Workshop 12th May – loooking at “how”.

These are notes from our open workshop, elaborating the Big Ideas and looking at next steps which we could collectively take to turn the ideas into reality.

Feedback on the Big Ideas

Homes for living, not investment:-

  • What kind of social contract works best to keep housing for homes forever?
  • Living on York Central doesn’t have to be about ownership – renting could be good.
  • Who will be the developer and what would work best? Homes England? The council?

Exploit the benefits of high density:-

  • Can imagine it feeling similar to behind Kings Cross – businesses at ground level, green spaces but also hardwearing finishes.
  • Site should have facilities for local people – supermarket for example – so no need for a car.

Build in low running costs through high standards:-

  • Is there an assumption it will be there in ten years’ time?” – are we building for the long term?
  • Can we build for true long-term sustainability by building for disassembly and re-use of materials? Considering flexibility, re-assembly?
  • How can we make service charges affordable? Would there be ways of doing this through community involvement?

People, not more cars:-

  • Need to create more connections to the riverside – cycle and foot paths.
  • We need to see pollution statistics to really know what the problem is.
  • Let’s make walking and cycling attractive and safe – the first choice – and make cars “possible but inconvenient” to use. Direct cycle routes are first priority. Let’s invest on things which make cars/parking irrelevant. Best intentions are not enough – need to think *how* we reduce car ownership.
  • Make the new station entrance work for cyclists – secure storage, well lit.
  • York Central should not be used to resolve congestion elsewhere.
  • Can we have multi-storey parking for station and NRM on the outskirts of the development to remove need to drive in?
  • Learn from elsewhere – good and bad. For example look at what went wrong with public transport at Derwenthorpe.

Beyond zoning:-

  • Can we enable people to downsize yet stay accessible?
  • Different layers of building can provide different uses to reduce zoning.
  • How about living units with networking space, meeting space, co-working space included/nearby?
  • How can we integrate York Central with the communities around it?

A community made through exchange:-

  • Can we set up Park & Ride so the profit is shared?
  • How do we build in ways for shared ideas to be developed and succeed?
  • What form of local governance would work best, and can York Central act as a catalyst for this across the city? How can this be open and accountable?
  • Can we achieve cross-party consensus?
  • We need to create a place which is serious about economic activity.

A hub that catalyses York’s creativity and innovation:-

  • How can we create a place to live and work for creatives coming out of York’s universities?
  • Can we create a learning and skills exchange?
  • Gallery / museum space?
  • Small / indie businesses are characteristic of York – we don’t need Google like Kings Cross. How can we take the success of Spark into York Central?
  • Can we also provide affordable space for existing businesses under pressure (rail industry)?

Public spaces that enable people to be collectively creative:-

  • Opportunities presented by the river shouldn’t be missed – recreation on the river provides recreation for others watching it. How about a watersports centre on Leeman Park with upper floor bar and viewing? A new home for York canoe club?
  • Allotments can be a place for sharing and learning
  • Ownership and control of public space must allow / encourage community use. How can it be adaptable to change with the seasons – eg water fountains (summer) and markets (winter)?
  • Can routes become experiences of art / creativity? “Paperchase” or art on the route? Public space should set high standards – quality street furniture etc.

…and how we move forward:-

  • Can we set up a body which allows for inclusion / investment, and can this be done soon? Can this include housing within its remit but also broader issues of economic development and inclusive governance? Can we hold events to inform and engage people?
  • Can we get involved in the discussion about cars and transport on York Central, with the same information on transport modelling which is available to the Partnership and council?
  • Can we broaden the thinking to go beyond York Central, and use the vision developed for York Central to also guide British Sugar site etc?