We recently met with Oxfordshire County Council to introduce the Co-CAFE project and to look at possible ways of investigating the appetite for developing a bottom-up, community-led approach to age-friendly neighbourhoods in Oxford.
Our discussion led to Florence Park in South East Oxford being identified as a possible area of focus. This is due its location between the busy Iffley Road and Cowley Road, leading to traffic management issues such as 'rat running' and speeding. The area seems ripe as a test-bed for developing something similar to the 'mini Holland' we visited at Waltham Forest in London.
To begin our community-led approach we contacted local Florence Park community activist, Scott Urban (Oxfordshire Liveable Streets), who invited members of local community groups to get together to discuss the potential for such a project.
Co-CAFE facilitated a discussion with community members at Flo’s Cafe on the 9th of April. The discussion was centered around the Co-CAFE concept and the appetite and potential to translate this into concrete action.
We were pleased when Florence Park Community members expressed that they were keen to pursue the concept, particularly around 'better streets', and to begin to engage the wider community. The meeting seemed timely as the group reported that a cyclist had recently been knocked off their bicycle by a car at a junction which had already been highlighted by local residents as unsafe.
The plan is to meet again on 7 May at 7.30pm [venue tbc] to take the conversation further - the idea is that members of the community can pitch their thoughts and ideas.
Scott Urban has agreed to act as ‘nerve centre’ for local communications. We also agreed that the Co-CAFE team will provide support by investigating:
Co-CAFE is also pleased to have been invited to the Flo-Fest community event on the 21st of June. We hope to bring a fleet of e-bikes for the local community to try out and to gauge ideas on making Florence Park neighbourhood age friendly.
Co-CAFE is led by Tim Jones (Reader in Urban Mobility) with Ben Spencer (Research Fellow) and Tom Shopland (Co-CAFE project administrator) based in the School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University.