Reading 2050: the Vision
More than 50% of the world’s population (3.6 billion) live in cities, and by 2050 this is set to grow to nearly 70%. As our cities grow, we must build upon our strengths to create vibrant hubs of enterprise and innovation.
A Vision is a shared and desirable expectation of a plausible future, that helps us understand how a city might evolve and look in the future. It enables us to proactively deal with key challenges in incremental steps, to achieve what may at first seem like ambitious long-term objectives and substantial change.
In the mid 1990s Reading developed a 2020 Vision, which set out some core ambitions focused around enhancing the heart of the town and its wider infrastructure. Over the last 25 years this initiative has delivered many notable changes and opportunities for the town.
Through the Reading 2050 Vision, we want to excite and engage with people from across Reading; local communities, businesses, education providers and the public sector, to support Reading’s economic growth and evolution as a smart and sustainable city.
The Journey so Far
The collaborative process to develop a Reading 2050 Vision began in 2013, drawing views from the town’s business and wider community, to determine an ambitious, yet realistic long-term Vision for our city.
Focusing on the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic – we have driven discussion and debate that has resulted in some clear, collective ambitions and directions for the town, which aim to get us started on our journey to 2050.
This is not a response to historic trends or a rebranding exercise, but instead seeks to present politically and economically viable ambitions and opportunities which can deliver a smart and sustainable future for everyone.
The Vision began in June 2013, when professionals from across the property industry: planners, engineers, developers, designers, etc., began to question the direction of travel for Reading over the next 30 years. Barton Willmore and the University of Reading brought a breadth of practical planning, design and academic thinking to the process, which the business community have embraced, through Reading UK CIC– the economic development company for the town.
We believe this Vision, driven by the people who live, work and shape this city, can tackle our inherent socio-economic challenges, through the delivery of considered growth and opportunity. The new Reading 2050 Vision will help us establish ourselves as an internationally recognised and economically successful city region. A city where low carbon living is the norm, and the built environment, technology and innovation have combined to create a dynamic, smart and sustainable city with a high quality of life and equal opportunities for all.
Since then we have engaged with a broad spectrum of people and businesses, to develop and test ideas, consulting over 21,000 members of the local community, some 350 local business representatives and hosting 15 events to discuss and shape the opportunities for Reading.
You can read a vision for Reading 2050 here.