Learn more about ‘Smart Cities’

Its not too late to sign up to this free online course to understand more about ‘Smart Cities’.

The Open University has released a free public education programme on Smart Cities, available to everyone over the Internet.

Milton Keynes, just like many other cities around the world, is using new approaches to improve lives and well-being of communities and create economic opportunities for all – sometimes this is being referred to as Milton Keynes becoming a “smart city”.

Sign up here.

OU-logoThe Open University has now made available a free public education programme on Smart Cities, available to everyone over the Internet.

The online course helps learners understand issues such as: What is a smart city? What are Milton Keynes and other cities around the world doing to improve lives and well-being of communities?. What is the role of citizens? What is the role of technology?

In this course learners are able to connect with other people to explore how they can contribute to the creation of smart cities through a range of interactive activities.

The course is available on FutureLearn.

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The course has been developed as part of MK:Smart, a £16 million collaborative smart city initiative partly funded by a grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and led by The Open University, which will develop innovative solutions to support the economic growth of Milton Keynes.

Blog Post MK:Smart New Communities News from and for the VCS Projects Western Expansion Area

Western Expansion Area Public Exhibition well attended by local people

Last week we hosted a public exhibition about the Western Expansion Area (WEA), MK’s biggest new development which will be home to around 18,000 people once complete.

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This event was kindly hosted at the MK11 Kiln Farm Club. Members of the public were invited to drop by to find out about plans for the site and meet the organisations involved in delivering this new area. We had information stands from developers, a range of MK Council departments, a local parish council and residents group, and the Parks Trust. Around 280 people attended the exhibition, heard about plans and got chance to ask the stallholders questions.

Plans for the site are ongoing so we will do our best to keep residents up to date.

  • Sign up to Growth Gossip – our newsletter providing updates on MK’s growth, links to consultations and community news
  • Visit the Growing MK website
  • Join Josan, our Community Mobiliser on Facebook
  • Email Hannah, our Growth Officer with your questions and comments
Blog Post Communities New Communities News from and for the VCS Western Expansion Area

Updates on MK Expansion plans

Want to know more about Expansion plans for MK? Sign up to our monthly Growth Gossip alert to find out more about our growing city and hear about our community involvement project which aims to get people more involved in new communities.

And don’t forget, we are hosting a Public Exhibition all about the Western Expansion Area, MK’s biggest new development, on Thursday 8th October.  Pop by to take a look at the plans and talk to some of the organisations involved in building this new area.

Get in touch with Hannah, our Growth Officer for more information!

WEA exhibition poster

Communities New Communities Western Expansion Area

Western Expansion Area Public Exhibition – 8th October

WEA exhibition poster

We would like to invite you to join us for a Public Exhibition about the Western Expansion Area (WEA) on Thursday 8th October, from 3.30 – 7.30pm at MK11 Kiln Farm Club. Pop by to find out about plans for the area and chat to those involved in creating this new community.

Free to attend and no booking required. Contact Hannah, Community Action: MK Growth Officer for more information.

Blog Post New Communities Western Expansion Area

Community Mobilisers Under Threat!

One MK have a story up about the possible effect of cuts being made to our Community Mobiliser Service. There’s a snippet below, but click here to read the full article.

Community Mobilisers, Robbie MacPherson, Tracy Whitmore & Stewart Ikin with pictures of some of the events that they have helped instigate

Community Mobilisers, Robbie MacPherson, Tracy Whitmore & Stewart Ikin with pictures of some of the events that they have helped instigate

A service which has saved Milton Keynes Council on average £2.5 million per year is set to be drastically reduced due to funding cuts.

Community Action:MK, a charity which co-ordinates voluntary events around Milton Keynes, currently provides community mobilisers to eight areas in the city – to support people and organisations and develop local groups.

But from September, areas such as Fishermead, Netherfield and Stantonbury will no longer benefit from the service.

A report by Bruce Fenning, an expert in social return on investment, in June estimated that the community mobiliser service brings a return of £8.15 for every £1 of investment.

Robbie Macpherson, chief operating officer for Community Action:MK, understands that cuts need to be made, but believes the decision will prove costly.

He said: “It is a large amount of money we are losing and it will have a huge impact on the work we do. We offer a sort of preventative service before further council services are needed.

“They do have make cuts somewhere, but I think in the longer term, they are going to have more demand on the council’s services as a result.”

To carry on reading, please click here to read the full article at One MK.

Blog Post Communities Eastern Expansion Area Funding Lakes Estate Netherfield News from and for the VCS Western Expansion Area Woughton

Mobilisers Bring in £9 for Every £1 MK Council Fund Us!

We recently asked Bruce Fenning, an expert on Social Return On Investment (SROI), to have a look at the difference our Community Mobiliser service makes in Milton Keynes. There’s lots of interesting he came back with, including that the return on the Council’s investment over is over £9 for each pound they spent. Over five years, the financial impact adds up to over £10 million! To read the full report, click here to download it.

Blog Post Communities Eastern Expansion Area Lakes Estate Netherfield News from and for the VCS Western Expansion Area Woughton
Walking along link road - the new balancing pond is on the left

CA:MK Growth Team Explore the Western Expansion Area (WEA)

Our Growth Team – Hannah and Josan – enjoyed a great tour of part of the Western Expansion Area (WEA) – one of MK’s newest developments. The WEA runs along the V4 from Stony Stratford to Crownhill. Once complete the site will include 6500 new homes, 4 primary and 1 secondary schools, community buildings and local centres.

James Mooney from Gallaghers, one of the organisations involved in developing the site, showed us the area closest to Crownhill (called ‘Whitehouse’ or ‘Area 10). There are already some roads in place, as well as a beautiful balancing pond which will make a lovely green space for residents to enjoy.

We only explored a relatively small area of the site but what struck both Josan and I was the scale of the new development and how quickly things are happening on site! Although no buildings are up, you can really start to get a feel for where things will go, and the sheer size of task ahead!

We hope to run some walking tours for local residents and voluntary groups to find out more about the WEA. If you would be interested please get in touch.

We are also planning a public exhibition about the WEA on 8th October at the Kiln Farm Club. This will give residents the chance to hear more on the plans for the site and have your questions answered. More details to follow……

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Blog Post New Communities Western Expansion Area