Oxfordshire Open Thought has been launched and is asking residents if the changes they’ve made during lockdown life could create a better future.
The COVID-19 pandemic response has seen more people working from home, walking and cycling to get around and appreciating our public green spaces more than ever. Open Thought, a new online tool, is asking if these changes – combined with new emerging technology – could be the key in creating a more resilient, successful county in the future.
As part of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050, it is looking for solutions to three big challenges facing the county as it plans for the future: how we will all live and work, how we will move around, and how we will tackle climate change.
Open Thought hopes to tap into the wealth of knowledge and expertise locally to help ensure the county can look forward to a strong economy and the prospect of better lives for all.
Councillor James Mills, leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, chair of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 member sub-group and OxLEP Board member, said: “As the Government begins to set out the roadmap to life after Covid-19, it’s vital we plan for our future here in Oxfordshire.
“We have seen more people working from and a reduction in car use, choosing active travel modes such as walking and cycling, and valuing our green and open spaces – these are some the changes made that could help to transform the county for the better over the next few decades.
“With the innovation on our doorstep in the county – such as AI, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy and low carbon housing – Oxfordshire has the right tools to emerge successfully from lockdown and work towards a sustainable future.
“But we need to make sure we use them in the best way, which is why we’re asking the people who know Oxfordshire best – our communities – what they think.
“We’re looking forward to hearing their fresh and creative ideas.”
Anyone wishing to get involved just needs to visit oxfordshireopenthought.org. The website contains some background on the three main topics and questions people might like to consider.
Visitors can then send their ideas using text, videos and/or images using the easy online form.
Submissions made before Friday 31 July will be used to help inform the next stage of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 with a summary report published ahead of the next public consultation.