Norwich Society looks to the future

A primary concern for the Norwich Society, like most Civic Societies, is the preservation, development and improvement of the historic features and general public amenity of the City.

But, again like most Civic Societies, the Society also looks to the future, seeking high standards of architecture and town planning. Three years ago, this led the Society to produce a vision of how Norwich could look in 2035, highlighting the improvements that it would like to see in the coming decades.

This ambitious report – Norwich 2035 – presented a vision of a City that would make the best of its unique heritage, reducing the traffic domination of the City centre while maintaining accessibility; facilitating activities for everyone during the day and in the evenings; providing homes for more people to live in the centre; and making Norwich a magnet for businesses to invest. One controversial ambition was to transform the street below Norwich Castle from its current role as a virtual bus station into an area where people can relax and eat or drink outside in an iconic location.

Transport was a key issue and this first report was followed up last year by a second expanding on this issue. The Getting around in Norwich report put forward a comprehensive set of policies for improving transport into and around the City centre aimed at retaining ease of access while greatly improving the quality of the City’s environment. The publication of this report has led to an ongoing fruitful relationship with the City’s transport planners.

Then, earlier this year, the Society published a speculative report on the changes that the introduction of autonomous and electric vehicles might bring to cities such as Norwich. Titled New Transport Technologies and the Future of the City, this covered issues ranging from the possibility that on-street and city centre parking may be unnecessary in future to the benefits that quiet and clean vehicles will bring to the city centres, making them more amenable to public uses of all kinds.

These substantial reports can be found on the Norwich Society website: http://www.thenorwichsociety.org.uk/