Books and Pamphlets

Since our formation in 1969 we have published an extensive range of books and pamphlets on important issues for the city.

Growth lessons from Cambridge

May 2017

Cambridge is often admired for the way it has succeeded in attracting research-led investment and employment growth, much of it associated with the university. This success has also seen essential infrastructure including housing built. Oxford has made slower progress. What then can Cambridge teach us? Oxford Civic Society decided to send its own mission to Cambridge in spring 2016 to consider what has been working in Cambridge and what could or could not be applied in Oxford.

The group concluded that Cambridge’s success story has much to teach us – about the role of local government, the contribution of the university and the dedication of key individuals committed to finding a shared vision.

We have produced a short report summarising our findings. You can read this online on the Oxfordshire Futures website, or download a copy of the report as a pdf here.

Response to Housing White Paper “Fixing our Broken Housing Market”

February 2017

The response written by our Housing Policy Group to the Government White Paper “Fixing Our Broken Housing Market”. It was sent to the Department of Communities and Local Government as part of their consultation on the White Paper. In our response we took issue with the White Paper’s opening statement “The housing market in this country is broken, and the cause is very simple: for too long, we haven’t built enough homes”. We argued that there were (and are) many other factors contributing to the failure to build enough homes, explored the more significant ones and where possible suggested what might be done to solve the problems.

Oxford Futures – Achieving Smarter Growth in Central Oxfordshire

April 2013

Oxford Futures report coverOn 31 March 2014 Oxford Civic Society launched a major report “Oxford Futures – Achieving Smarter Growth in Central Oxfordshire”. It argues that Central Oxfordshire is going to grow. It can grow smartly and we can all benefit. Or it can muddle its way through and lose out to better organised places. It says the only way to solve the problems arising from these growth pressures and bring about a prosperous future for the region is for all the different agencies to work together. This needs visionary leadership from the leaders of our communities, businesses and universities. The report calls on them to work together to achieve smarter growth. Read more on the Oxfordshire Futures website.

Report on ‘Clutter’ in vicinity of Wayfinding signs

April 2012

Following a test audit of Turl Street by the Oxford Civic Society, Gordon Reid, City Centre Manager, suggested that we might inspect city centre locations in the vicinity of the forthcoming Wayfinding signs to identify items of street furniture which might be removed. Specifically we were asked to identify items which are under the responsibility of the City Council. The Oxford Civic Society, working with the Oxford Pedestrians Association, carried out inspections in late March.

On Foot in Oxford

October 2011

The Streets for People team in association with Oxford Pedestrians Association (OxPA) plans to extend its programme of activities, working with the local authorities, to make the city and its neighbourhoods even more welcoming for those on foot. Called ‘On Foot in Oxford’, the programme will extend the spirit that inspires those initiatives to the city as a whole. ‘On Foot in Oxford’ is not simply about improving the appearance of the city; it is about improving its ‘feel’.  Oxford Civic Society and OxPA are delighted to work together on this programme.

Forty Years of Oxford Planning


Forty Years of Oxford Planning is the published text of a lecture given in 2009 by the then President of the Society, Mark Barrington-Ward to mark its 40th year. It is essential reading for those who want to understand today’s Oxford and to look into its future. It gives a unique insight into the ebb and flow of transport and planning policies, their successes and failures, as they have moulded the city we experience today. You can read the text of the lecture here (without illustrations), or download the complete booklet in pdf format here. (Warning – this is a 240Mb download!)

Oxford Bus Connectivity Review

September 2008

Data resulting from a members’ survey of bus travel within the city boundaries, for discussion with bus companies and Council officers.

The Bus Stops Here

February 2008

the_bus_stops_hereThe second in a series of occasional publications that seek to address the principal concerns of our members. This booklet explores the vitally important question of how best to encourage greater use of public transport, thus reducing individual dependence on private cars.

Signage in Central Oxford

January 2006

signage_in_central_oxfordThe first booklet of the series, in the form of a report demonstrating the poor quality of the streetscape in Oxford. It highlights some of the many problems that create an overall impression of clutter and chaos – and suggests some ways forward to City & County planners.

Visions for Oxford in the 21st Century

February 2003

A diverse collection of essays provides an extended vision of how Oxford and its region might develop in the next few decades. Written by experts in their field, the overall aim is to prompt widest possible discus-sion of the many challenges and the opportunities that these present.

We do not have a digital version of this booklet. Remainder copies may be available either by mail order for £7.50 (contact us to enquire) or from Blackwell’s Book Shop, Broad Street.

Transport and the Future of Oxford


This publication was hugely influential to the emerging Oxford Transport Strategy – a matter of fierce debate and wide importance then as now. As a case study for all those concerned for the urban environment in ancient cities, the book gives a platform to varying views and offers some ways forward. The book is held alongside 6 other titles through the Centre for Oxfordshire Studies This book is very relevant to local authority planning departments and university schools of planning and transport.

Edited by Edwin Townsend-Coles ISBN: 0 9538757 0 9

Let’s Live in Oxford


This booklet was written by members of Oxford Civic Society in 1970 to describe and debate the City’s plans for the road network. Many issues that were at the forefront of our minds then are still relevant now.