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Nearly 50 university students from one of the most prestigious courses in the world are in Ebbsfleet Garden City for a month to study some key issues the area could face in the future.
The Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art are hosting its ‘GoLocal’ innovation course on human centred design.
They had originally planned a trip to Japan but that changed when the coronavirus put an end to their travel.
So Ebbsfleet Development Corporation stepped in to ensure the students could carry on their studies where they will look at what makes the area a great place to live, where local people are supported to be healthier and more environmentally conscious.
Kevin McGeough, Head of Strategy and Place-Making with the corporation, said: ‘The students will be looking at a whole host of subjects from how we can reduce dependency on the car to how we can re-skill people to meet a changing employment scene.
‘They’ll be out and about in the community talking to people about how they perceive the Garden City and what, if any, challenges they face.’
The students are regarded as some of the most innovative globally. One invented Ooho edible water which was used during the London Marathon last year and a group of students invented a device to collect tyre particles from cars – widely seen as a contributor to the world’s air pollution.
The result could be that Ebbsfleet Garden City residents could end up with some form of cutting-edge technology that attempts to improve their lives in the future.
Weston Baxter, Assistant Professor of Design Engineering with Dyson School of Design Engineering, said: ‘Working in Ebbsfleet is a great opportunity for us as it is rich in opportunities to create change at the product, service and system level.
‘We are glad to be working with many people within the community over the coming month to ensure work is relevant to those who live and work in Ebbsfleet now and in the future.
‘Ebbsfleet Garden City has been generous with their time and contacts to make this possible at a short notice. We hope this short engagement can lead to collaboration in the coming years.’