Shared Intelligence was commissioned to support the production of the Commission’s main report and summary. This was an iterative process reflecting a changing structure and emerging narrative around the importance of inclusive growth and how the six big projects provided an integrated pathway from the present day to a prosperous future.
Si’s core values around collaborative working were put into practice with the production of the Commission’s report, with iterative drafts developed collectively with colleagues in the Council and the Commissioners. These conversations evolved into a clear focus on inclusive growth that, in turn, led to six big interlinked transformational projects which taken together could secure a very prosperous future for the city and its citizens.
Si was also commissioned to produce seven of the Milton Keynes Commission’s working papers that helped inform the overarching strategy. We worked closely with officers of the Council, as well as the commissioners, to ensure that they reflected international, national and future trends. The working papers covered the economy, housing, infrastructure, transport, education, low carbon and the sub-region. They reflected the best available knowledge of future trends as well as setting out an analysis of options for the future development of the city.
The working papers
A resilient Milton Keynes economy
This paper considered how Milton Keynes (MK) could build on its economic strengths and continue to make a vital contribution to the UK economy in the coming decades. It drew from a wide range of sources, including an analysis by the Centre for Cities, the MK Local Economic Assessment, the MK Skills Strategy, and forecasts for the MK economy prepared by Cambridge Econometrics.
The working paper comprised four sections: trends shaping the UK economy over the long-term; the role of Milton Keynes in the UK economy today; the rate and scale of economic growth to 2026 and to 2050; how MK can continue to remain prosperous and play a key role in the UK economy. The final section set out how the Commissions might approach constructing alternative visions and a preferred vision. It addressed whether it is possible for MK’s economy to continue to expand to 2050, if it is in the interest of MK’s citizens to do so, and if so, how could this be achieved.
Housing in Milton Keynes
This paper identified the strategic housing choices facing MK. It drew on the evidence prepared for Plan:MK, including the topic paper on Growth in Housing and the Strategic Housing Market Assessment. It also drew from more recent studies of housing in MK and a range of studies of wider national trends.
The paper comprised four sections: the longer view and the housing challenge facing England; housing in Milton Keynes today; going forward: current plans; big choices for the future.
Infrastructure: Maintenance, renewal and investment for growth
The purpose of this working paper was to consider how MK is addressing the legacy challenge of renewing the City’s original infrastructure and how best to ensure that resources are available to accommodate further growth. It drew from various analyses undertaken by the Council, emerging thinking from the MK Development Partnership, and other sources.
The paper was made up of four sections: how MK was initially financed; the legacy challenge and repair, maintenance and replacement of infrastructure; infrastructure in the Western and Eastern Expansion Areas as in the approved Core Strategy; and infrastructure in new growth areas as in Plan: MK Strategic Development Directions Consultation. The final section raised matters that the Commissioners might wish to consider in building their alternative visions and setting out a preferred vision for the future of the new city.
Transport and the structure of the city
The purpose of this working paper was to consider the choices facing MK as it addresses the potential offered by innovations in transport technology. It was written in light of the flexibility in the original plan for the new city and based on the evidence and the options prepared for Plan:MK so far, the results from MKC’s Task and Finish Group and various other studies.
Education and skills 11-19
This paper explored what needs to happen if Milton Keynes is to provide world class education for 11 to 19-year-olds. This complemented the ambition to establish a globally significant higher education institution in the centre of the city. The paper comprised three sections: trends in relation to education for 11 to 19 year-olds; a review of the current position in Milton Keynes; and a concluding section which identified a number of issues for the Commissioners to consider.
Milton Keynes: A low carbon city (with LDA Design)
The purpose of this working paper was to consider how MK can become a truly low carbon city. The paper drew on our understanding of global trends and the extent of work underpinning MK’s Low Carbon Strategy, including the results from various pilots completed or now underway. It complimented a separate Commission working paper on water security.
Milton Keynes and the sub-region
This paper set out the implications and opportunities created by current and planned economic growth, covering housing development, land use, infrastructure and transport in the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) region and beyond for Milton Keynes’ future. The analysis addressed a hierarchy of growth plans and issues relating to:
- The Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Arc as a single knowledge-intensive cluster;
- The South East of England including London;
- SEMLEP; and
- Milton Keynes’ neighbouring authorities in the Strategic Housing Assessment Area.