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Future Place Open Call Greater Exeter - Sustainable growth and high density-living-led placemaking

Future Place Open Call Greater Exeter - Sustainable growth and high density-living-led placemaking

06 June 2019

The commission

To identify opportunities for higher density car free sustainable neighbourhoods in Greater Exeter, taking into account Exeter’s aspirations for inclusive, healthy and equitable growth set out in the vision for ‘Liveable Exeter’.

The critical challenges and opportunities to address in the process and output are:

  • reducing car use and shifting to sustainable transport to create an active and accessible city
  • encouraging healthy and active lifestyles by providing a high quality and accessibly built environment and green spaces, with great arts and cultural facilities.
  • accommodating growth in an inclusive and responsible way with the most efficient use of land, optimising density and creating a vibrant neighbourhood which supports the retail and social needs of the residents.
  • engaging residents and communities in the design of their neighbourhoods.
  • taking into account the analysis and principles in relevant planning documents
  • drawing on relevant best practice examples from elsewhere (UK, Europe, and beyond)
  • working in collaboration with the local authority as client, presenting ideas and findings to the Future Place programme.

The final output

The final output will take the form of an illustrated strategy for higher density car free sustainable neighbourhoods. The strategy will include the vision and objectives and will also set out the design principles for development, timeline, and implementation processes (which might include the appointment of a consultant team or assembly of an expert panel). It will also include an initial intervention or actions required to kick start the process.


Exeter is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. It sits within a network of thriving rural villages and coastal towns that together represent a population of around 450,000 people. A group of five local authorities was formed to create the ‘Greater Exeter Strategic Plan’ – a joined-up vision for the area. Joint initiatives include: making public transport quicker and more convenient, promoting active travel, freeing up land used for driving and parking for social uses, and building more green spaces - with arts and cultural facilities to encourage healthier lifestyles.


By 2040, Greater Exeter wants to be recognised as a global leader in sustainable living and one of the most active, healthy, and accessible cities in England. The Council is committed to best practice and innovation in the design and delivery of new homes at a city, neighbourhood, block, and street level. There is an aspiration to achieve higher densities with appropriate social and transport infrastructure to create vibrant, and successful neighbourhoods.

Next steps for Greater Exeter

In the next twelve months, the authorities intend to publish their draft ‘Strategic Plan’ for the new Exeter sub-region and launch a transformational housing plan for the City to deliver 12,000 new homes between 2020 to 2040. Working closely with their Community Interest Company (Exeter City Futures), Greater Exeter will draw on the Future Place Programme to ensure placemaking is at the heart of their innovative approach to challenges faced by their vast and varied communities.

Find out more about the Future Place Open Call.

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