Cherwell District Council
We provided urban design, heritage and landscape design services for this exciting town centre and town wide project. The design team worked collaboratively with the local authority, Cherwell District Council, together with a wide range of stakeholder groups and the wider community to determine a vibrant and successful future for the growing Oxfordshire town.
Bicester received funding towards the principles of the government’s ‘healthy new town’ and ‘garden town’ initiatives. We identified practical methods of implementing these principles into the design of new green/blue corridors in the town.
The River Bure runs through Bicester, although it is difficult to tell. The river is canalised along many stretches, and is largely hidden. Bure Park is the only area where the river is allowed to expand.
We looked at ways of bringing the river back into the town, reuniting the town with its river. The route of the river was re-imagined as a blue/green corridor through the town, connecting the town with its rural setting. Surface water flooding is an issue in most towns in the UK, we looked at how we could combine the recreational elements of the design with giving the river room to expand and to take up excess surface water.
Node created a transformational and deliverable new vision for the town centre, reuniting the town with its river and providing a corridor for the river, people, and wildlife. We have shown in this design that environmental problems such as flooding and river pollution can be solved in such a way as to offer a benefit to people’s everyday lives in our urban areas.