HUNTINGDONSHIRE 2050, UK

NEW NATURAL PLACE VISION
Futures Literacy in the Fenlands

CONTEXT
Huntingdonshire is a rural district about an hour North West of London. Known for its unique fenlands where locals love to swim, a flat landscape perfect for cycling and a cluster of picturesque towns and villages.

Nearby, Cambridge has a gravitational pull that attracts big thinkers and brave new businesses, which often spill over into the district, looking for space and affordability. Things are grown and made here.

But a lack of public transport means people are wedded to their cars, traffic and pollution is high, and the ageing population are increasingly sedentary. There’s little to keep young people here and it’s in danger of becoming a dormitory town. During the heatwave this was one of the hottest parts of the country but flooding is also an issue – people here understand the depth of the climate crisis.

COMMISSION
In collaboration with Prior + Partners, we’ve been working with residents and stakeholders of Huntingdonshire to exercise their ‘futures literacy’ – a concept developed by UNESCO to help people develop the ability to imagine complex future scenarios beyond the realms of what we already know.

A futures report helped to set the scene in advance of a big Futures Workshop. We highlighted some guiding lights – ideas that are happening out in the world, on the fringes, which we can take inspiration from, and sets an expectation for big, bold ideas.

Our workshop in Huntingdonshire invited 100 people from the district – local politicians, teachers, firemen and business leaders and asked them to consider the question ‘What if…?’ a simple question with a big ambition, pioneered by the founder of Transition Town Totnes – Rob Hopkins.

Using storytelling techniques, our residents helped us to craft a compelling vision and narrative for Huntingdonshire in 2050.

GENRE
New Natural
Civic Magic

OUTPUT
Place Vision

PARTNERS & CLIENTS
  • Prior + Partners
  • Huntingdonshire District Council