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Breaking out of the Lock-In Mindset

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Breaking out of the Lock-In Mindset


A seminar that explores our thinking processes in designing Future cities

Designing the “future city” starts with a blank sheet of paper, or so some think. While most design professionals in the built environment know that is not true we rarely stop to think of the constraints when engaging in general conversation about what our towns and cities will look like in years to come. The LOCKIN seminar discusses the opportunities open to us if we were to change our perspective.

Lock in thinking

The LOCKIN seminar will feature four short, eye opening presentations from leading thinkers and practitioners. Professor Michael Keith (Director, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford) will begin with a session looking at why ‘Path Dependency’ and ‘Lock in’ too often negatively impact our initial ambitions and end up constraining our thinking when, perhaps, thinking about them from the outset would lead to new and exciting outcomes.

Pioneers of modern roads

Carlton Reid, Journalist and Author will present the idea that the push for good roads came from cyclists – not from motorists, but are we now locked-in, in the way we think about transport never really giving the attention we should to alternative, more suitable modes of transport for the 21st Century as we consider future cities.

HS2 and the ‘Emerald necklace’

We will then take the challenge of developing cycle ways as a simple microcosm of the much bigger challenge to develop future towns and cities.  

Last year the government published ambitious proposals to build a national cycleway up the spine of England along the route of the HS2 railway. The feasibility study claimed 7 million people would live within a 10-minute bike ride of a national cycleway within the HS2 corridor - a grand plan, but could it come off? XYZ will give insight into HS2’s approach and how HS2 have sought to use both established and new thinking to create a basis for travel in the future cities, towns and villages across England.

A spotlight on progress

The final session will look at whether recent history confirms the need for a better appreciation of ‘path dependency’ when considering the future of our towns and cities. Using the example of Lewes road, Brighton Mark Strong, Transport Initiatives Managing Consultant will consider the ambition that existed at the outset, experience of delivery and monitoring long-term success.



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