Urban experts discuss shape of things to come in Portsmouth

University vice-chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith, Wayne Hemingway MBE of Hemingway Design, council leader Donna Jones, Roberts Centre CEO Carole Damper, and Allan Gordon, chairman of the Shaping Portsmouth Developers Group, led the debate, moderated by Cheryl Buggy of Express FM Picture: Mike Cooter
University vice-chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith, Wayne Hemingway MBE of Hemingway Design, council leader Donna Jones, Roberts Centre CEO Carole Damper, and Allan Gordon, chairman of the Shaping Portsmouth Developers Group, led the debate, moderated by Cheryl Buggy of Express FM Picture: Mike Cooter

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WHAT will Portsmouth and Southsea look like in 20 years’ time?

That was the question at the heart of a university event that saw industry, government and community leaders invited to the Spinnaker Tower to discuss the future of the city.

A group of 100 experts and decision-makers gathered at Spinnaker Cafe, in Gunwharf Quays, yesterday for the University of Portsmouth’s first industry breakfast.

Vice-chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith, Wayne Hemingway MBE of Hemingway Design, council leader Donna Jones, Roberts Centre CEO Carole Damper, and Allan Gordon, chairman of the Shaping Portsmouth Developers Group, led the debate, moderated by Cheryl Buggy of Express FM.

Prof Galbraith outlined the university’s estates masterplan, which is now under development and will lead to significant investment.

Early plans include a new sports complex and a landmark building to house Portsmouth Business School.

These developments have the potential to open up the campus to the community and reimagine the public realm – including people and vehicle flow – within the heart of the city, Prof Galbraith said.

The debate focused on strategies and ideas about the future of Portsmouth and what needs to be done to meet the urban challenges of the 21st century. The experts were asked for their views on how best to release the potential of collaboration between industry, local government and research expertise at the university.

Professor Steffen Lehmann, co-organiser of the event, said: ‘The question of how we will best manage the needs of a growing city with the need to ensure we preserve a sustainable environment is timely and of great importance for Portsmouth.’

Opportunities for new public space along the waterfront and urban regeneration were also debated.