|Title:||Eddington Sustainable Community, Cambridge, UK|
|Markets:||Residential, Public Realm, Mixed-use|
|Client:||University of Cambridge|
Eddington is a pioneering new sustainable community in Cambridge by the University of Cambridge that will be delivered over the next 20 years. Set within an ecological parkland landscape, this ambitious community sets a new standard for sustainable, healthy living.
Situated to the northwest of the city centre of Cambridge, Eddington has been carefully planned to enable residents to minimise their environmental impact and live healthier lifestyles, with a forward-thinking approach to travel, energy and landscape design.
Gillespies is developing the landscape design and strategy for the phase 2 infrastructure, building on the principles established in the masterplan by Aecom and their implemented phase 1 work, which includes the largest greywater recycling system in the UK with water recycled through cleansing lagoons.
The new neighbourhood is being designed to the highest sustainability standards, showcasing the latest technology in water management and habitat design. Substantial ecological parklands along the western edge of the development deliver five ‘green fingers’ with integrated swales and shallow gravel-filled planted rain gardens to connect back into the development. The ‘green fingers’ will provide not only drainage but also multi-functional, accessible green spaces.
Gillespies worked closely with the client’s ecologist to incorporate target habitats and wildlife features. In addition, a more habitat-based perennial planting style was proposed for the residential areas with mixes of hardy perennials in a gravel mulch to reduce water loss from the soil. Large tree species have been incorporated where possible, particularly along the primary street, to increase overall canopy cover in the city.
The design included as much species diversity as possible to guard against wholesale loss through pathogens and climate change. The design encourages active forms of transport, with walking, cycling, and public transport prioritised. This is achieved via a dedicated pedestrian and cycle ‘Ridgway spine’, a wider network of bike and pedestrian paths and 1.2km of the primary street containing integrated cycle lanes, wide verges, and traffic calming designs. Priority has also been given to cyclists at secondary road junctions to further encourage and prioritise cycle usage over cars. In addition, the provision of 2.6ha of community allotments and a sports hub with 3G and grass pitches within the neighbourhood centre reduces both travel by car and the need to travel for sport and leisure. Eddington will be an exemplar addition to the city of Cambridge, promoting sustainable design and social interaction, and Gillespies are working with the client’s sustainability consultants to achieve a CEEQUAL assessment score of Excellent.