Annual Conference: 20-22 October 2010


“city of the dreaming spires” - a term first coined by poet Matthew Arnold

striving to lead the way for historic towns to address the climate change agenda

'Climate change: mitigation and adaptation in historic towns'

Conference supporter:

Climate change and resource use are key challenges facing communities in historic towns.  They have cultural, social, economic and environmental implications.  Broadly, the planning response is two pronged: mitigation and adaptation.  This presents particular challenges and opportunities for historic towns because: 

  • climate change impacts may threaten historic fabric, townscapes and landscapes
  • adaptation and mitigation may be particularly difficult to achieve in sensitive historic environments
  • historic towns have always been a focus for growth
  • the nature of historic towns and their populations may provide good opportunities for exemplar schemes and promoting positive approaches.

The purpose of the Conference is to: 

  • raise awareness of the climate change issues facing historic towns
  • show good practice in responding to climate change
  • develop this practice through discussion and debate.

Book your place
View the sponsorship and exhibition opportunities
We are aiming for a low carbon event
This conference will carry CPD certification

Oxford City Council Logo

Who should attend

Local Authority elected members and officers from all disciplines; community leaders and representatives of community groups, civic and amenity societies; professionals concerned with all aspects of planning, conservation, tourism, traffic management, urban design and economic development.


Conference Venue:

Oxford Spires Four Pillars is a delightful hotel and conference venue, a few minutes' walk or bus ride from the city centre, with extensive leisure facilities


The Programme 


Wednesday 20 October

15.00Familiarisation Tour led by the Oxford Preservation Trust
16.30HTF AGM hosted by Continuum at the The Key Learning Centre, Oxford Castle
19.30 for 20.00Drinks Party and Conference Dinner
A splendid evening will offer the opportunity for networking in beautiful surroundings at an affordable price.
 hosted by Kellogg College (home of the MSc in Sustainable Urban Development) and
sponsored by [tip:The Westgate Oxford Alliance=a Joint venture between The Crown Estate and Land Securities]
Land Securities LogoCrown Estate Logo
provided by:

Thursday 21 October

 09.00Registration / coffee / tea  
 09.30Introduction and Welcome Debbie Dance, Chair of HTF
 09.35Message from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron of HTF  
09.40Welcome to Oxford Leader Cllr Bob Price, Oxford City Council
09.50What Oxford is doing in policy terms - the big picture of diverse Oxford Huw Jones, Director of Environment and Economy
Oxfordshire County Council and
Mel Barrett, Executive Director City Regeneration
Oxford City Council
10.15New public buildings – the challenges for architects Paul Finch, Chair
10.40Sustainability and historic buildings (Ref:  PPS5-HE.1) Pat Aird, Head of National Planning Advice, English Heritage
11.05Coffee / tea  
11.30Flood strategies for historic towns Barry Russell, Flood Risk Manager
The Environment Agency
11.55Carbon reduction projects Richard Rugg, Head of Public Sector
The Carbon Trust
12.20Renewable energy - even in sensitive locations Jo Trussler, Coleshill Low Carbon Village Project Coordinator, National Trust
 Parallel Sessions  
14.00[A] Low carbon building and the urban environment; Radcliffe Observatory Quarter Humanities Division and Library, Peter Fisher, Associate
Bennetts Associates Architects
 or[B] Low carbon West Oxford Case Study
Barbara Hammond, Chair
West Oxford Community Renewables 
14.30[C] Sustainable transport - Oxford's electric hybrid buses
Martin Sutton, Managing Director
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire
or [D] The value of urban trees
Alan Simson
Trees & Design Action Group / Leeds Metropolitan University
 Tea / coffee served  
 15.00[E] Green guide for historic buildings
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive
The Prince's Regeneration Trust
 or[F] Being Responsible About CR,
Dave Farebrother, Environmental Director
Land Securities PLC
 15.30[G] Renewable energy, including wind turbines
Tony Duffin, Regional Manager (South West)
Partnership for Renewables
 or[H] Sustainable homes and the growth agenda
Alison Mathias, Policy Manager
Homes and Communities Agency
 16.00[I] Demonstrating the sustainability value of old buildings. The whole-life CO2 footprint of refurbishment vs. new build – a case study,
Rob Kinchin-Smith, Senior Historic Environment Consultant &
Kat Zahran, Environment Consultant
 or[J] Adaptation & mitigation in a historic context
Jenny Ekelund, Head of Environmental Sustainability
Oxford University Estates Directorate
 16.30 Discussion / Plenary  
 17.00 Ends  
 17.30Lord Mayor's Reception
hosted by Cllr John Goddard, Lord Mayor of Oxford at Oxford Town Hall

Friday 22 October

 The Oxford Experience
Tours of special places in the city; choose from:
 Oxford Castle Unlocked! with Continuum
The Bodleian Library
Pitt Rivers Museum
 Lunch at a restaurant in Oxford Castle
 See details of more places to see and things to do while you are in Oxford


(prices the same as last year!)

 HTF Members:
Civic & Amenity
Local Authority
Town & Parish Council
HTF Members: Associate
Full Conference attendance (all events over 3 days) £210£235£265
Wednesday Events    
Familiarisation Tour £5£5 £5
AGM no chargeno charge no charge
Drinks Party and Dinner £25£25 £25 
Tables are also available for six @ £125 and for ten @ £200
Thursday Events    
Conference Day £180*£210*£240*
Reception £15£15£15
Friday Events    
The Oxford Experience £10£10£10
Lunch no chargeno chargeno charge
*Special fee: for an Officer and an Elected Member attending the conference day from the same Local Authority one place is offered at half price.


HTF has negotiated a special rate at The Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel (at delegate's own expense) - £95 single occupancy or £105 double occupancy (B&B per room per night).  To book please visit Four Pillars web bookings  - you will be asked to enter the GroupID and Password shown on your conference booking confirmation.  For more information or assistance please contact HTF.  

Alternatively visit for a range of accommodation.


We are aiming for a low carbon event and will:

  • email the e-brochure
  • offer booking facilities and information on-line - Book your place
  • confirm your booking by email

Help us by:

  • using the website to book
  • sharing the e-brochure with colleagues by email
  • only print if really necessary
  • use the web link to book your accommodation
  • travel by rail or bus:  Park & Ride , Oxford Railway Station

 return to programme details