5.30pm - Exhibition
6pm - Film screening
7pm - Q&A session
The evening then continues at Slug and Lettuce (upstairs)

On the 23rd August, former MKDC architect and long term resident Ken Baker led an informal walk through Central Milton Keynes – from Station Square to the Belvedere in Campbell Park. During the walk, Baker proposed a number of interventions, projects and ideas for different locations around CMK to address some of its inadequacies. The Living Archive documented the journey and the discussions between Baker and the attendees.  Join us at this event to view the finished film and participate in a lively discussion about Baker’s propositions for the city he had a hand in creating. 

I joined the city centre team that had been assembled by Stuart Mosscrop, and had been tasked to develop the plans for Central Milton Keynes (CMK). The site for CMK had been located on the high ground towards the middle of the designated area and overlooked land to the east, towards the new London to Birmingham Motorway (M1).

We started with the Green Book (The Master Plan prepared for the MKDC by the Consultants, LLewelyn-Davies, Weeks, Forestier-Walker & Bor), which we looked to as our guide and reference.   It gave us a written description of a centre that had weather protected walkways for pedestrians, car-parks in courtyards which were sheltered with trees, a concentration of shopping, cultural and leisure facilities and parks.

We designed the infrastructure for the centre as a network of roads that reflected the grid of the city whilst connecting the different areas of the centre.  We provided for three boulevards running east/west from the railway line to the canal, including the provision for the city park at the eastern end of the Centre.  Straight pedestrian pavements which run either side of the boulevards and have wide underpasses at the intersection with the Gates which are step-free. 

The Centre which we designed meets the ambitions of Paragraph 147, page 41 of The Green Books: “The Corporation sees the planning and building of a new city centre for Milton Keynes as a unique opportunity to combine the vitality of existing city centres with good accessibility.  The Milton Keynes city centre will have ample parking and servicing facilities, malls protected from the weather, bustling streets and restful squares, trees, seats and water display.”

I believe our plan for the centre provides for all of this. However one thing is missing. Where are the bustling streets?