Master developer, Urban&Civic created the Make Your Mark event to inspire young women to pursue a career in the development industry by showcasing some of the diverse people and roles needed to create a sustainable new place, literally shaping the landscape around us.
From design, planning and play to heritage, sustainability and community, students were given an insight into the challenges of creating attractive, healthy and sustainable places to live, that are resilient to climate change events, and accessible to all. The students involved came from Years 8-10 at Bottisham, Impington and Cottenham Village Colleges and Northstowe Secondary College.
Caroline Foster, Development Director for Urban&Civic, said: “The day exceeded our wildest expectations, in bringing together some amazingly talented and inspiring women we work with, across a range of roles and expertise, with some incredibly talented and creative young women from local schools.
“The buzz in the room was magical. We had some great design ideas and inputs from the students and a real commitment to continue to work with the students and schools to keep conversations going: both to capture the voices of young people into future places, and to help girls find routes into an industry that has traditionally been quite male-dominated, and to fully explore the range of careers and roles that help to create new places.”
Supported by organisations including South Cambs District Council, David Lock Associates, Bradley Murphy Design, Make Spaces For Girls, Fletcher Priest Associates, Mills&Reeve, Jupiter Play and more, Make Your Mark also gave participants the chance to get hands on to help shape future parts of the project.
Students were given the challenge of designing the type of community they would want to live in, using an intuitive, web-based tool that goes through the choices involved in designing new places, and providing everything they need. They were also tasked with designing sustainable, safe and accessible play spaces and public areas for girls and young women. The charity Make Space for Girls and landscape designers from Bradley Murphy Design worked with them on their ideas, as well as drawing their feedback into future designs for the development. The students were also treated to anecdotes and insights from a range of female role models and senior figures from the development, planning and both built and natural environment industries, across both public and private sectors.
Liz Watts, Chief Executive of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It was brilliant to hear from young people about what they want from new developments, and what matters to young women. These are voices that we often don’t hear, but they are the future of our new communities and so their voice really matters. Make Your Mark showed both the energy, interest and creativity from the students involved, but also I hope showed them the routes and choices they can take to really make their mark on the future of the area they live in.”
Laura Bradley Director and Co-Founder at Bradley Murphy Design, said:
“We were delighted to be able to support this event and want to thank all the amazing girls who shared their ideas and thoughts and provided valuable insights into what future generations are looking for in the places we design. It was also a great opportunity to promote opportunities to female students who may not have been aware that there are a significant – and growing – number of women leading developments like that at Waterbeach”
Helen Scully, Careers Coordinator, at Cottenham Village College, one of the participating schools, said:
“Cottenham students were fully engaged in this unique experience and were inspired by the people that they met at this event. The key speakers and activities opened up a world of opportunities that they may otherwise have not encountered. The students also found it empowering to see women working in planning and development and taking leadership roles. One student said, “It was really great because it made sure that women have a voice in the designing world”
The day exceeded our wildest expectations, in bringing together some amazingly talented and inspiring women we work with, across a range of roles and expertise, with some incredibly talented and creative young women from local schools.