Built and Natural Environment

Your home, your street, green spaces, buildings in the city and the climate

Oxford today


Oxford has around 1,500 listed buildings, with more than twice the national average of grade I and II buildings.

Few other cities contain more magnificent buildings within a relatively small area, or can boast buildings spanning every major period of British architectural history dating back to the 11th century.

Carbon emissions per resident are lower than the national average (4.2 tonnes to 5.0 tonnes), but areas particularly in the city centre are still above legal levels for pollution.

Oxford is also home to hundreds of acres of parks and open spaces, including Port Meadow, Shotover, University Parks and South Park.

What we might we see in 2050

Your home may be built with different materials and grow or shrink over time depending on your needs.

You may grow all the food you need at home and air will be clean to breathe.

Your house may be modular and could be built and rebuilt with the help of robots.

Robots and sensors will be used in the home and your furniture may be intelligent enough to adapt to the shape of your body.

These are what the experts think, but what do you think – what do you want Oxford’s built and natural environment to look like in 2050?

Our vision statement options

  • We sustainably produce a significant proportion of our energy and food needs locally and minimise our use of water and production of waste
  • We have mitigated the risk of our city flooding
  • The air in the city is clean, carbon emissions have been reduced by at least 80% of 1990 levels and we’re moving towards becoming carbon neutral
  • We have accessible high quality green spaces rich in biodiversity in every part of the city
  • Each and every one of us has access to good quality affordable housing
  • The new homes delivered in and around the city are built to promote healthy lifestyles, enhance existing communities and meet the needs of an ageing population
  • We have conserved Oxford’s unique architectural heritage and while sympathetically retrofitting buildings to meet modern needs
  • People, functionality, sustainability and design are the focus of every new building
  • We take pride and passion in our streets and communities
  • Our residents and visitors get joy from their surroundings and interaction from their environment.