Janet Askew, RTPI President, praised Milton Keynes for continuing to lead the way in innovation, as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017, during a visit to the area last week organised by the South East Region.
Her trip included a call to see the latest research being undertaken at the Transport Systems Catapult centre and meetings at the local authority to discuss how Milton Keynes was growing in a planned and sustainable way. Janet also met with the council’s development management team to learn how they are improving performance in the planning service
Janet Askew said:
“I am impressed with the ability of Milton Keynes to re-invent itself as a place of innovation. I was hugely impressed, for example, with the new technology being trialled at the Transport Systems Catapult which could really open up tremendous opportunities to improve people’s day to day lives in our towns and cities.”
Among the new research methods she witnessed at the centre was ‘sentiment mapping’, which is using social media and apps to monitor the mood of public transport users in real time and to potentially identify cycling black spots before accidents happen, as well as hearing about the trials of driverless cars. Janet, pictured above, centre, with Andy Pascoe, business development director, Sue Percy, RTPI South East Chair, Steve Yianni, Chief Executive and another member of the Catapult team.
Janet Askew said:
"When I was at university we studied the plans for Milton Keynes before it was built. I can envisage those early plans and it is fascinating to see how it has grown. I have enjoyed and been impressed seeing for myself how and why it has achieved such success as a new town."
The Transport Systems Catapult
One of seven elite technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK. The centre was created to drive and promote Intelligent Mobility – using new and emerging technologies to transport people and goods more smartly and efficiently. The centre is helping UK businesses create products and services that meet the needs of the world's transport systems as they respond to ever-stretching demands.