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Milton Keynes: a sustainable future – low carbon prospectus (NF27)


Developed to document the visionary approach, projects and initiatives that have taken place since Milton Keynes’ inception in 1967 and created with Milton Keynes Council, Milton Keynes Partnership and the Zero Carbon Hub, this prospectus brings together the four themes – People, Buildings, Technology and Direction – that have contributed historically and continue to contribute to ensuring that the growth of Milton Keynes is sustainable.

Summary of content

Milton Keynes was planned and built with future growth in mind, to be a sustainable community long before we understood the principles that defined sustainability. It is grounded in the spirit of a balanced lifestyle, providing nature on your doorstep, and communities that have soul, energy and dynamism.

Over the years Milton Keynes has developed a reputation as a national leader for innovation in low energy buildings. Collaborations with The Open University in the mid 1970s led to pioneering low energy housing developments. Supported by research and monitoring, these projects helped to provide a better understanding of how to minimise heat losses from buildings. At that time, quality of life and lower energy bills were the drivers for change rather than concern over climate change. This early work informed national policy, leading to higher building standards, and the creation of a method for calculating energy demand in housing, which would later become the national approved standard we use today. Since then, our awareness of the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the built environment has grown, and Milton Keynes Council has responded by introducing policies requiring developments to take responsibility for their contribution to climate change, through the D4 policy and carbon offset fund.

Today, the city and Borough of Milton Keynes continues to grow, applying many of the same principles that have contributed to its past success, such as having 40% of land retained as open green space, managed and maintained using the successful Parks Trust model. Milton Keynes Council (MKC) and Milton Keynes Partnership (MKP) have made a commitment to continue to build on their reputation as a national leader for innovation in low energy buildings, research and environmental policy, and to demonstrate its international leadership in low carbon living.

The Council aims to promote careful, environmentally sensitive masterplanning to provide a green, clean and safe environment. An integrated approach to the provision of new, energy efficient homes, community facilities, sustainable infrastructure and a ‘smart’ energy supply will benefit both existing and new residents as well as companies attracted to the quality of life and vibrancy offered by Milton Keynes.