Worcester Civic Society recognises that Worcester’s proud historical legacy needs to be developed and enhanced, but without strong vision and leadership, opportunities to do this may be squandered, and the city could become a ‘nearly’ city or a mere ‘suburban satellite’ in an expanded West Midlands conurbation. The City must embrace future trends and changes, but must also carefully guide these to ensure that new developments are sustainable in the long-term and also enhance the unique character and distinctiveness of the city. Therefore, we aim to:
- Be a ‘champion’ for the environment of the City of Worcester.
- Contribute to the development of ‘civic pride’ in the City of Worcester.
- Contribute to Worcester’s development as a first-class ‘Cathedral and University City’.
- Ensure that the future of Worcester’s built and natural environment is widely debated amongst the citizens of the city, and that these debates underpin a clear vision for the city, that is shared by all and that is promoted by the city’s leaders.
Key Objectives for Worcester’s Future
A city where all can live life to the full
- A greater range of good quality, affordable housing for all people.
- A wider variety of activities and facilities that cater for people at all stages of their lifecycle and encourage full participation in the life of the city.
- A greater range of vibrant, accessible and safe public places, sporting and cultural facilities (squares, parks, arts venues, etc).
- Integrated, safe, accessible and varied walking and cycling routes and public transport systems.
- The encouragement of pride of place at the neighbourhood level and the development of greater civic pride in the city as a whole.
- Strengthening local democracy by encouraging involvement in local decision-making and partnership working between various groups in the city.
A city that nurtures and encourages innovations, skills and talents
- Develop a more varied economic base that builds on the core strengths of the University, the Central Technology Belt, the city’s history and culture and the city’s rural hinterland.
- Build on strengths, innovations and skills of the city’s citizens and support enterprise in Worcester.
- Encourage local business start-ups by developing a range of places for the incubation of new firms.
- Make Worcester a city that encourages good quality, ethical and sustainable business investments.
A city that is welcoming to visitors
- Improvements of Worcester’s many ‘gateways’ so that they are more welcoming; the main entry roads, the railways, the waterways.
- Enhancement of Worcester’s major environmental asset, the River Severn, and the waterways linking with it for tourist and leisure use.
- Develop more high quality visitor facilities, particularly signage, hotels and attractions.
- Enhance more of Worcester’s unique historical and cultural assets and celebrate past achievements and current cultural vibrancy
Strategies to Develop Our Vision
The task in hand is by definition bold, ambitious and visionary and it will, of necessity, unfold in stages over the next few years. However, the society should focus its activities and campaigns firstly on:
- ‘Making the River the Heart of the City’: Championing our river and waterways, to enhance these major ‘arteries’ of the city and make them a resource and source of pride not an afterthought or a barrier.
- Build strong communication links with decision-makers and the wider citizens of Worcester to initiate debate and encourage wider involvement in local decision-making.
- An audit of developments and improvements to date in the city and identification of where further progress needs to be made.