This site has been initiated as an open FORUM to develop ideas that might sustain better and more resilient future social, environmental and economic development in Portsmouth.
This initiative intends to engage creative, constructive and optimistic public debate that encourages quality, opportunities and best outcomes.
READERS ARE INVITED AND WELCOMED TO CONTRIBUTE to informing this future debate on planning architecture and design, by submitting feedback or their own publications to the editorial team.
We welcome a flow of visions offering fresh, new and alternative ideas.
Portsmouth is a unique island city and one of only two in Europe and, like Venice, has had a pivotal role in imperial maritime history.
Portsmouth city is located on Portsea island which is one of an arc of low lying islands along the Solent coast. Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester harbours are located between the inner archipelago while the Isle of Wight is located across the Solent to the south. The South Downs, located by Portsdown hill, to the north frame this coastal landscape.
The city retains its famous Naval base (the largest in the UK), alongside a ferry terminal and commercial port. Along with a wealth of historic military assets it has been the birthplace of a number of well know British cultural figures and has long played a pivotal role in UK commercial, political and military history.
The Solent and the adjoining harbours have rich intertidal ecologies, are popular for water-sports and recreational boating, as well as being significant habitats for migratory birds.
In 2016 the worlds only commercial hovercraft service, which connects Southsea common to the Isle of Wight, celebrated its 50th year in operation.
The city’s containment has long ensured its population density is the highest in the UK, and well above that of London. The flat landscape with its extensive coastline makes the city the most vulnerable in the UK to climate induced rises in sea level.
Against this backdrop residents experience poor health, low educational attainment and a poor quality of life; car transportation dominates, few cycle and historically rail connectivity has declined; yet the city continues to grow.
Portsmouth is an exceptional city with an exciting future, but faces many specific and unique spatial design, economic and environmental challenges which this site aims to investigate.
© island city papers