Open Briefing Document – Movement

Week 4 of the Festival of York Central was focused on ‘movement’, asking how people wanted to get to, across and around York Central. We’ve gathered information through social media and through a series of events:-

  1. Beyond Flying Cars – sustainable transport on York Central – joint York Environment Forum / York Bus Forum open event
  2. Getting Out More – family drop in workshops leading to production of a zine
  3. York Central Transport & Access with Professor Tony May
  4. Connecting York Central & Holgate – walk with local residents re proposed southern pedestrian/cycle access routes
  5. Out and About workshop sessions with pupils of St.Barnabas and Poppleton Road schools
  6. What Makes a Good Cycle Route – guided ride and workshop with York Cycle Campaign
  7. Pulling together the Week’s Conversations – public workshop (with The Life Sized City film show)

We have also drawn upon movement-related discussions during previous weeks – for example on issues of legibility in shared space (from our Open Spaces discussions) and the role of transport in urban development (from the David Rudlin workshops). In addition, tagging of comments from previous events has allowed us to put responses from the week’s events in a broader context of overall comment, questions, etc.

Here are the main issues and comments:-

Some key principles:

York Central cannot be seen in isolation. One of the recurring themes of discussions on movement was integration – transport modes and routes need to connect to make them useful. A truly high quality transport network on York Central needs to integrate with a truly high quality transport network across the city. So:-

  • People felt that York Central should set an example of innovative, forward-thinking sustainable transport and…
  • York Central should be an opportunity to leverage change across the city and bring forward broader innovation – for example new networks (Very Light Rail, continuing through the city and onwards to Heslington / Elvington) and processes (freight trans-shipment for local deliveries, with small electric vehicles / cycle couriers).
  • We should design for behaviour patterns that we want in future rather than just to work with current patterns (for example prioritising active travel).
  • Prof Tony May set out the hierarchy of priorities within the draft Local Plan and stated clearly that design of movement infrastructure within York Central should reflect this, with clear and convenient walking/cycling routes occupying space best suited to them, and vehicular routes elsewhere. This was widely supported.
  • There should be better separation between vehicular routes and cycling routes – these should be truly segregated (not immediately adjacent) and walking/cycling routes should always have priority.

The need was identified for good-quality information to steer future decision-making. For example:-

  • What will changes in overall age of population mean for transport demand? Will there be more people with mobility issues? More mobility scooters?
  • Can we obtain information about what journeys people want to make (not simply traffic counts on roads – information about “why”) so we can consider and design for end-to-end journeys?
  • What is the basis for decision-making on car use/ownership? Is this simply the status quo (“most people have cars, so we design residential areas for cars since moving away from this would result in resistance”) or is this on the basis of alternative possibilities (“there must be lots of people for whom a car-free neighbourhood this close to the centre would command higher house prices”).

Reducing movement by reducing zoning

Can we reduce the need for people to move around by the way we plan the development?

“We thought the future would be working from home and having meetings via Skype; do we no longer believe that we’ll all be working from home?” “It’s not become an either/or, people are not using it as a replacement”.

There seem to be movement implications from this as follows:-

  • Working from home will still require movement but this can be largely walking/cycling
  • Small/medium businesses (for example creative industries) often involve “clustering” where good local connections (again walking/cycling) are important.

Public transport and the rest of York: Ease of use and Integration

  • Seamless connections with a wider network are needed to allow necessary longer journeys – simply getting to the city centre is inadequate if onward connections aren’t easy and fast.
  • This needs to consider both the radial routes and movement between them – York is poor for this.
  • Ease of use is essential – contactless payments on all transport modes, and operating times / pricing models which suit users rather than just operators (current Park & Ride arrangements were frequently criticised).
  • All of which points to a requirement for some over-arching strategy and an appropriate body to administer it, an equivalent to Transport for London – Transport for York – was mooted.

Pedestrian and cycle movement

Key points were that:-

Cars on York Central: Low car development and no through traffic

A crucial choice is whether there is through traffic across York Central. One comment was “If you allow through traffic, this is where all ideas of being radical evaporate”.

Many people noted that there seemed to be an assumption that “restricting car use/ownership” was seen as problematic and would decrease the appeal of living/working on York Central, but that this was open to challenge. There were many suggestions that a car-free neighbourhood would be very popular and would command premium prices. “People will have a choice – no-one is being forced to live here”.

Prof Tony May set out a proposal for York Central based upon the Freiburg Vauban development – allowing car access but with centralised parking, creating Play Streets and safe walking/cycling routes. It was noted that this would require consideration (for example Respark areas to prevent “overspill”) beyond the site. This side-steps the “ban cars” challenge by allowing ownership but passing on real costs and making alternative modes more attractive.

Prof May’s ideas envisaged centralised parking at the north-west end of the site, close to the access from Water End. Bringing cars deep onto the site to multi-storey car parking adjacent to the station was felt to be a backwards step, which would greatly reduce safety within the development. Parking for service use (tradespeople etc) was discussed and it was felt bookable spaces could be provided. Local deliveries could be to service points, combined with public transport stops or parking areas.

Marble Arch / Leeman Road tunnel: How to avoid traffic cutting up the New Square

People stated that the main access to the site (and NRM) from the city needed to reflect the City’s transport priorities – it should be a good route for those walking / cycling etc. Its poor visual appeal was noted and the question was asked “what would it take to turn it into the gateway to a major museum?”

The impact of through traffic on the new square was frequently mentioned. Both two-way through traffic and light-controlled alternate traffic (Option 2 on the Marble Arch board) were thought likely to lead to queuing traffic in what has been described as a pedestrian civic space, which should be avoided. Traffic was furthermore seen as a potential barrier between the NRM and the station / city centre.

National Railway Museum through access: A creative opportunity to celebrate movement

There was almost complete opposition to the closure of Leeman Road to pedestrians/cyclists outside NRM opening hours. It was noted that modelling suggests it would take people on foot 1.5 to 3.15 minutes longer when the museum was closed. There were comments like ‘it’s not about how much longer it will take’, ‘it’s the psychological factor of feeling cut off and that the museum is blocking you’.

More positively, there were comments like “I don’t think it’s about the time saved or not, it’s about the experience and qualities of being able to walk and cycle through the museum”. There were repeated requests for a more creative solution which celebrated movement (“it’s bizarre that a museum of movement would cut off movement”) and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam was cited as a good example of what could be possible, with new opportunities for the public to see exhibits while maintaining out-of-hours security. Creative possibilities were identified around rotating doors or a turntable in the link building – “like the Gateshead Millennium bridge – people would come to watch it open!” and “the shadowy trains in the closed museum are far more atmospheric than when it’s open”.

Connections to existing communities

There has been an assumption that York Central should connect to surrounding communities but this was noted to have challenges:-

  • The simple fact that people who are used to being disconnected from public movement may be suspicious of change
  • Issues to do with alcohol and antisocial behaviour – new bars in York central leading to hen parties making noisy progress through surrounding communities
  • Places which offer security (for example Holgate Community Garden) becoming open and routes for (pedestrian/cycle) through-traffic.

There was a broad point made that the development needs to provide positive benefits for existing nearby residents and needs to clearly spell these out. “You compromise. Part of this is “I’m not going to get that bit that I really want but I’m going to get that other bit instead”. There has to be a quid pro quo”. This applies to movement as well as other facilities.

Discussion of the proposed southern connection is covered in a separate document.

The Role of Arts & Culture in York Central

Monday 30th April 2018, 6:15pm – 8:00pm
York Explore, Museum Street
Book your free place

Good design should seek to add to the city’s overall cultural qualities as a place, and also enhance its cultural capacity — its ability to create opportunities for cultural creation, expression, learning, sharing, and enjoyment….”

So says York’s draft Local Plan. But why is it important to consider and plan for the arts and culture in a development like York Central, and in a city like York? And if it’s important, how can we make it happen?

Facilitated by Hazel Colquhoun and Robert Powell, this event will include presentations and discussion, and help lay the groundwork for further activities and action in the future.

Robert Powell is a York-based writer and poet with over 30 years experience in the arts and place-making. From 1997-2015 he was Director of Beam, a company dedicated to promoting the role of artists and communities in designing and improving public spaces and places.

Hazel Colquhoun has worked throughout the UK as a consultant on arts and cultural projects for over 20 years, with a particular interest in working outside formal arts spaces, public art and place-making. Based in York, she has recently co-curated “Look Up” the major temporary commissioning programme for Hull 2017, UK City of Culture.

Beyond Flying Cars – sustainable transport on York Central

Tuesday 10th April, 4pm – 6pm / National Railway Museum Gallery

The current emerging masterplan proposals aim to “encourage sustainable transport” and show networks for the various current modes of transport – walking, cycling, busses and cars. But how will future changes – especially those in public transport – change the way we move around cities and how do cities need to respond in order to benefit from them? In this collaboration between by York Bus Forum Chair Graham Collett and York Environment Forum Chair Phil Bixby, we asked:

  • Can we look to successful projects elsewhere and can we overcome the cry that “York is different”?
  • How far into the future is it wise to plan when future technologies are so uncertain?

Graham Collett kicked off the discussions with a few questions for the movement plan on York Central:

While it could potentially be good for Park and Ride buses, where is the proposal here for local buses? York Central is a long-term project – we should think out of the box. We should be thinking a bit more radically, it should be more than just a few buses. No other transport type seems to have been considered – apart from cars.”

With this in mind Graham talked us through a few of the more radical options – and this is accompanied below by an account of the discussion they provoked:

Light rail or tram:-

“We could start the tram in York Central and use it as a springboard to extend. People say it is too expensive, but we heard from David Rudlin about a scheme where plots for development had been sold in order to fund a tram connection.

They are putting in trams in Preston, and working on Very Light Rail (VLR) proposals in Dudley and Coventry, which are cheaper than trams. Frieburg / Grenoble (similar size cities to York have trams). Bath, Cambridge and Oxford are all discussing trams.”

Discussion on the benefits of light rail and trams:-

‘Trams are very popular. There is a strange psychological dimension, people who won’t go on buses will go on trams. You go on the tram because it is an outing. You also feel safer’

‘It feels like you are in control when you are on tram. Trams are ace’

‘We need to make public transport sufficiently attractive, people get out of their cars by choice. Trams are a way of doing this, as the experience in Nottingham shows’.

‘Not as many people will switch from cars to buses as they do to trams (although in London TFL doubled the ridership of buses while nationally it halved)’.

‘Having experienced trams Edinburgh, Sheffield – they’re great when they work, but if they break down the whole system breaks down, while buses have flexibility’. And from Prague ‘a tram broke down at least once a day, and it would paralyse the whole network”.

‘Tram routes can drive up the value of development land – sites near routes – and especially near stops – have higher value as the guaranteed transport makes them attractive.

Then we discussed the positives of buses:-

‘Tram systems might be an answer in some cases but there is an argument that buses do the job better, can go where you want them to do, and are more flexible. Once you build a tram system you’re stuck and you can only expand it’

‘Buses are flexible and routes can respond to changing circumstances and demands…. but that’s a down side too, routes get changed and individual neighbourhoods can lose services’

‘Buses could be so flexible that they could pick you up at the door. But there is the management issue, at the moment in York they are only run by profit seeking firms’.

There was a general point about perception of public transport:-

‘Public transport involves learning – people need to feel they know how to use it. Older people feel they are trapped when they give up their car. If they learn to use public transport before this happens, then they cope much better.’’

Driverless vehicles (especially buses):-

There is an example from Didcot, Oxfordshire. ‘Small and frequent buses beat large and less regular ones every time’. Driverless buses are being used in La Rochelle, where ‘…they are free to travel through pedestrian areas. The problem is keeping pedestrians safe, so therefore they’re not much faster than 5mph and therefore limited use for a public transport system’.

The discussion flagged up the human issues involved in relation to driverless vehicles:-

‘I don’t always feel safe at night on trains, so having people about is important’

‘you have to think about people in the equation, people matter still and they need to be taken into account’

‘a lot of people might not want to get on a driverless vehicle, so it’s not a way of increasing use’

‘what about disabled people? you need people around to make it accessible’

‘it is a classic example of pursuit of new technology without thinking through the human element’.

‘It is important not to think of the time staff spending supporting people as a waste of time. Could jobs be combined so people are doing other jobs but also still offering support on public transport?’.

We discussed guided buses:-

‘Guided buses are a way of avoiding congestion, as they can use the central reservation to jump the queue’

‘It is the bit between settlements where guided buses matter’

‘You can have guided lines going into town in the morning and out at night, so you only need one bus lane’

The human factor:-

There was discussion about broader issues of human experience and the (relatively) simple things that made transport work well:-

‘Buses in London are painless – use a swipe card or a contactless debit card’.

‘One ticket for everything, so there is no concern that one’s return doesn’t work on another’s service’

‘The technology really helps, you now don’t have to worry how much it’ll be because it’ll never be more that £5’

‘In York now, you can but a day or week ticket… …but you still have to plan whether you’ll get full use from it. Contactless allows that flexibility’

‘In London, bus use doubled – that was because of the oyster card, real time information, investment and increased frequency. It was about a political willingness to subsidise that service rather than give profits to private operators. The problem was deregulation:- there used to be the possibility of cross subsidizing between successful and less successful routes. But now private operated just cream off profit from successful routes and the less popular ones vanish. But:- the Buses Act gives you opportunity to manage buses locally again’.

And some fundamentals:- vehicles need to be attractive – ‘you still won’t get on a tram if it is dirty’.

We discussed the issues around cycling:-

‘I want to talk about cycling. York claims it wants to be a top cycling city and it is falling short’.

‘Cycling can solve a lot of problems. We should see cycling is one the main forms of transport’.

‘Cycling routes are often so tortuous in new developments’.

‘An agenda we struggle with at the moment is ‘shared use’ – we can’t even cycle through York because of pedestrians.  Alongside planning for all sorts of new technology, we need to find ways of respecting each other with the modes of transport we have now’.

‘Does anyone have any information about how disabled people feel about Amsterdam?’

‘Need to have workplace showers after cycling to work’.

Bringing it all together with better integration:-

Examples of integration between different forms of transport…

‘I live in Pickering and work in York. I can Park & Ride but this costs £3 and I have to walk back out from the city centre to my office, or I can drive in and park in a local residential street. So I tend to drive in’.

A taxi almost fuel efficient as a half full bus , so we need to really think about taxis, especially as new technology makes ride-sharing more possible’.

‘Who is responsible for a joined up transport policy? Who designs the system?’

‘We can use the Park and Ride as hubs for parking and cycling as well as parking and busing’

Air quality:-

‘We need to get traffic out the city centre. Congestion can drive a move from cars to other modes of transport, but congestion reduces air quality. By reducing congestion, we are also improving air quality’.

The Freiburg Vauban experience – you can have a car but it is parked in a multistorey car park and you pay the real cost of providing this. If you agree to be car-free you don’t have to pay that money. This has reduced car ownership (but there is good public transport as an alternative). We perhaps need to be more clever – not just deciding to make developments “car free”.

…and some York Central specific discussion:-

‘The site needs access but it shouldn’t be a through route or a main road’

‘If Marble Arch is open to through traffic then it will end up the same as Holgate Road and Bootham. It should be public transport only’.

‘A bus gate at Marble Arch could help the Park and Ride to get into town more quickly and leave the rest of the traffic on Water End’.

‘They seem to have planned for a multi-storey car park near the station – this is simply going to bring traffic in’.

‘Except for visitors with disability, NRM should not have its own parking’.

Possible opportunities:-

We then talked about possible opportunities to make some of the ideas happen:-

  • Yorkshire devolution financing: how might this be tapped into?
  • How do we work with elected members? It was felt that officers are always coming up with great ideas, solutions and thoughts but they get knocked back at the Cllrs level.
  • An old city with limited space, how do we understand and respect each other across different modes of transport? Maybe via a Transport For York (or a wider area) – like Transport for London, an integrated agency?
  • How can we show all the private operators that integration will be financial positive for all of them by driving up usage?

Connecting York Central and Holgate

6:00pm – 7:00pm Friday 13th April

Wilton Rise railway footbridge

One of the key issues that has emerged from conversations within the Festival of York Central has been connections between the new development and existing surrounding communities. It’s recognised that the existing footbridge across the goods line which connects Cinder Path and Wilton Rise is not ideal, and the masterplanning team are exploring options to improve this connection. These include replacing the existing bridge with something better in the same location, providing an improved connecting route, replacing the bridge in a new location, or doing nothing.

What would work best for you? Come and take a look at the options and walk the routes with us at 6pm on Friday 13th April. We’ll meet at the footbridge on the Wilton Rise side, and there will be an opportunity to discuss the proposals and to feed back into the masterplanning process.

York Central – Housing and Housing Density

Dr Roger Pierce, former architect, town planner, academic and city councillor, who advises York Civic Trust’s Planning Committee, led a guided walk on Saturday 31st March looking at housing density in York, and highlighting examples of key steps in the development of different housing models. His notes are reproduced below.

York’s history in housing design

York played a part in the revolution of housing design, layouts and density in late Victorian Britain. York-born Dr John Snow’s discovery that the source of cholera was contaminated water supply and other advances led to the Public Housing Act, 1875. This replaced the previous laissez-faire by statutory controls of housing standards and construction. Houses were required to provide through ventilation (thereby ending the construction of back-to-back housing), separate fresh water supply, and their own yards and earth closets (and later wc.s). Public health boards were required to provide drainage, refuse and nightsoil collection, pavements and street lighting. Their by-laws required space and daylighting standards, damp proof courses and inch-inch brick walls.

The resultant ‘two-up, two-down’ terraced house with its kitchen offshot still dominates British house design. The density of these Victorian terraces (for example, at Leeman Road) was 100 dwellings/ hectare.

However, the ‘tyranny of the terraces’ was challenged in York where Raymond Unwin pioneered new housing layouts and designs at New Earswick (and later Garrow Hill) proclaiming: ‘Twelve houses to the acre (30/ha); nothing to be gained by overcrowding’. The terrace and the garden village designs became wedded in the four-dwelling terraces with semi-detached housing at each end and extensive, hedge-lined gardens to the tree-lined avenues in the new council estates at Tang Hall, Bell Farm and Clifton.

York’s draft Local Plan

The deposit York Local Plan policy H1 allocates 35 Hectares of land at York Central (Site ST5) for 1700 dwellings up to 2031 and 800 afterwards. As many as 3,500 were envisaged ten years ago. To ‘ensure efficient use of land’, Policy H2 proposes densities of 100 units/ha within the city centre, 50/ha in the York urban area, 40/ha units in the suburban area and Haxby/Wigginton and 35/ha in villages. Policy H10 requires 20% to be affordable housing in brownfield sites (e.g. York Central) and 30% in greenfields. However, housing density in York Central is anticipated to be determined by further studies.

These densities compare with, at one hand, 30/ha in New Earswick (1903) and, at the other, 250/ha in Hungate (2005-).

Above:- Aldwark (left) 1980’s at 75/ha and Hungate (right) 2005 onwards at 250/ha.

What actually determines housing density?

The determinants of housing density include:-

  1. Developers preferences – mainly national housebuilders and housing associations.
  2. National & local values >>>>> party politics >>>> Planning policies especially green belts
  3. Land Scarcity & Values
  4. Site development costs
  5. Central government grant
  6. The future occupiers and tenure
  7. Household composition, incomes and lifestyles > market power or political power
  8. Motor vehicles
  9. Private or public space < secure by design/ defensible space
  10. Maintenance and management
  11. Fashion, nostalgia and how society’s values interpret buildings and surroundings – especially biases for or against urbanism and flats (and the people who live in them)

The economics of land and construction

Currently, the construction cost of a standard two-bedroom, terraced house is £100,000 at a greenfield location. According to Land Registry data, the average price of housing in York in January 2018 was £242,000 . The average price of a flat/maisonette in York in January was £162,000, a terraced property £206,000, a semi £246,00 and a detached house £380,000. Land prices are the difference between the selling price of all the new houses on the site and the sum of the construction cost, site development cost and builder’s profit. Currently, ‘good land’ commands around £1m per acre (an increase from its agricultural land value of £15,000 an acre). Landowners enjoy full rollover tax relief if they reinvest the proceeds in buying new land in two years.

In the interwar and postwar years, councils were able to develop former slum clearance land or outlying greenfield country estates at current use value and received grants towards servicing the capital debt. Subsequently, public subsidy moved from ‘bricks and mortar’ to individual tenants via Housing Benefit designed to target subsidy and to allow rents to rise to market levels. This has enabled social landlords to raise finance for housing from banks. Where affordable housing is required at 20% in brownfield sites, then the developer must sell those houses to a Registered Social Landlord at a ‘bricks and mortar’ cost and reduced land cost. This depresses land prices. Where site development costs are high (e.g. York Central) , then the proportion of affordable housing will be determined by an ‘open book’ examination of viability.  Currently, this allows a developers a 20% profit element.

…and a note of space standards

RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) has pointed out that, at 76 square metres, the UK’s average flooorspace, is now the lowest in Europe and has called for a return to the range of statutory standards phased out in 1980s in favour of market determinants and lower construction costs and house prices.

Discussion following the walk

We had, prior to the event, plotted the masterplan proposals over the OS digital data to give a scale masterplan, and had used this to trace the various areas of proposed development and measure their areas in hectares. As a result, we were able to base discussions around some understanding of likely densities which would be required to give the stated Local Plan housing numbers for the site. These appeared to be around an average approaching 200 dwellings per hectare.

Family housing?

One of the key issues which was discussed was the nature of “family housing” and whether this was possible within relatively high-density housing, especially where this led to multi-storey apartments with lift access. We had seen examples on our walk of three-storey (two-storey apartments over shops) and four-storey (Two-storey apartments on top of ground floor two-storey dwellings) both with walk-up deck access, but at the current time lift access would be considered essential and there may be pressure to go beyond four storeys. The shared view was that this would be considered normal in many mainland European countries but was unusual in the UK. It would be useful to research UK examples and gauge their success. Family housing was agreed to be key in creating a community – it was commented that children are the glue which hold communities together, with the school run and shared play areas being key meeting points.

Benefits of higher density living?

We looked at what might be the benefits of higher density living. The main one was easier connections to facilities – it was more likely that shops / public transport / public amenities would be within walking distance. Potentially (subject to design) taller buildings provided good views. But there was concern over the downsides and particularly poor record of UK multi-storey housing – poor sound insulation, high maintenance costs of services and systems, and the general concern that it was only a relatively narrow social mix who wanted to live in them – people without children, but possibly not the elderly who might be isolated by apartment life. The question was asked – “who would want to live here?”


We discussed the issue of “over-occupation” of family homes by older people – couples and singles whose children had long moved on but who still occupied family homes. We asked what would persuade someone to move from a well-established existing street community into a smaller new home on York Central; the only immediate answer was “it would need to be really high quality and offer something special”. We will do further participative work to explore this.

A tram was also seen as an encouragement as was a better name, as Roger summed it up:

‘New York: the UKs first new garden village with its own tram service’.

Zoning or mixed use?

Discussion highlighted a major problem with the current “zoning” of proposed development, with commercial development with its animation at ground level (bars, cafes, culture) being separated from the residential areas. This separation removed one of the major benefits of higher density – the immediate connection of home and amenities, the short walk from front door to meeting places and the everyday needs of shops and other facilities. Would a greater mix of development (apartments above offices above shops / cafes / bars / culture) offer a better place to live? (This issue had also been identified during our “Public Spaces” events).

Living and Working Creatively on York Central – A workshop to develop ideas and networks

Wednesday 4th April
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Book your free place
Current emerging masterplan proposals envisage a clear distinction between living and working on York Central, and much of the background discussion in the city on commercial development revolves around big name employers and A-grade office floorspace. Should we also be looking at how York Central could provide a home for new businesses, retaining talented graduates and working in partnership with our two universities to create a path way from school to entrepreneurial success? As a UNESCO City of Media Arts, should we be providing more infrastructure – built and otherwise – to develop this sector? Can York Central’s heritage as a place of innovation be brought up to date in the 21st century? This will be a workshop event for anyone with an interest in arts, business, culture and creativity, and the way in which they could bring life and economic success to York Central and its surrounding communities.

This event is jointly promoted by York@Large and My Future York.

Beyond Flying Cars – sustainable transport on York Central

Tuesday 10th April, 4pm – 6pm
National Railway Museum Gallery
Book your free ticket here

The current emerging masterplan proposals aim to “encourage sustainable transport” and show networks for the various current modes of transport – walking, cycling, busses and cars. But how will future changes – especially those in public transport – change the way we move around cities and how do cities need to respond in order to benefit from them? Can we look to successful projects elsewhere and can we overcome the cry that “York is different”. How far into the future is it wise to plan when future technologies are so uncertain?

This will be a workshop event led by York Bus Forum Chair Graham Collett and York Environment Forum Chair Phil Bixby, and will feature participation by members of York Environment Forum, bringing with them expertise in many aspects of transport and sustainability. We will aim to produce guidance on sustainable transport which will contribute to the masterplanning process.

Quality in Housing – the Rowntree legacy at Derwenthorpe

Thursday 29th March 5:45pm – 8:00pm
Derwenthorpe – meet in visitor’s car park (access from Osbaldwick Village)
Book your free place

Housing quality is a major issue in the UK today with press coverage of poorly-built developments. How do we ensure new homes built on York Central are of high quality, and indeed what does “high quality” look like? From New Earswick through to Derwenthorpe, the Rowntree name has been associated with innovation in housing and attempts to ensure good homes and to drive forward standards. This will be a guided tour of the Derwenthorpe housing development followed by a discussion of the lessons which can be learned (in a local pub), and will be a chance to talk with residents about their experience of living there. Many thanks to Derwenthorpe Residents’ Association for their help with this.

Understanding housing density with Dr Roger Pierce

2:00pm – 4:30pm Saturday 31st March
Meet at Navigation Rd / Walmgate junction, walk to The Royal Oak Goodramgate (by the scenic route)
Book your free place

Many of the #MYCQuestions to date have been about issues of housing height and density. Current proposals include between 1700 and 2500 new homes on York Central, but what will that actually look and feel like? Given the proportion of land which will be available when commercial development, infrastructure, open space and all other uses are accommodated, what sort of density will be required and what will it be like to be there? Where can we look in York for examples which might give a comparison? Where will we look to in order to say “Oh, it’ll be like….”

We’ll be led by Dr Roger Pierce, former architect, town planner, academic and city councillor, who advises York Civic Trust’s Planning Committee. We will take a walk through a variety of housing areas on our way to one of York’s historic pubs, where we will discuss what we have seen, look at how different densities could be accommodated on the York Central site, and work together to identify issues which we feel should be explored and addressed as the masterplanning process moves forward.

Pechakucha without the curry

For those of you who unlucky enough to be prevented from being at the My York Central PechaKucha – whether prior engagement, life-threatening illness or simply the unappealing wet weather – you now have the next-best thing. Yes, the recording (with slides) of all the presentations is available here. But no curry.

To avoid disappointment in future check our Events page and book early! Join the conversation and help shape York Central… …and enjoy yourself too.