Previous projects

This section contains summaries of a selection of previous sustainability projects the council has undertaken. Although these projects have now ended, each one has a legacy of ongoing positive effects.

Previous Projects

Previous Projects

Hot maps

Hot Maps is an open-source tool for mapping and planning heating and cooling systems. The project ran from 2016 until 2020.

The mapping tool was designed to assist with planning by providing layers of GIS information on climate, current land use, number and characteristics of existing buildings, population and available resources for renewable energy. This data will provide a quick assessment for the potential of district heat and power systems as well as identifying sites for turbines and solar photovoltaic parks.

Read the Hotmaps brochure to find more information about the toolbox and how to access it.


The main goal for the City of Milton Keynes, in the POWER project, was to promote water conservation behaviour and achieve quantifiable water savings using social awareness incentives. The project ran from 2016 until 2020.

The POWER project allowed citizens to monitor water usage online, enhancing social gamification mechanisms and increasing individual and collective awareness. By connecting city inhabitants through a network, they were able to see good and bad practices of others and exchange advice on how to improve consumption.

Check out more information on the POWER webpage.

Living streets

The 'living street” project aim was to convert streets from a road into an attractive area that people can meet, grow plants and flowers, create an entertainment space and share food. The project was live between 2016 and 2018.

The results of this project showed that MK citizens were not yet ready for Living Streets as the city is a new town built for the individual car user. Milton Keynes had few traffic problems but will grow from 230,000 inhabitants to over 300,000 in the next 7 years and 500,000 by 2050.

Existing communities need more time to accept this initiative, gain trust and ownership of the public realm in a car-centric city where green space is near to everyone’s house. The legacy of the Living Streets initiative here is that people will be more involved in designing new neighbourhoods.


CitiZEN ran between 2015 and 2017. The POWER project team formed a citizens group to create a pathway to reducing water consumption in Milton Keynes. Water is one of the priorities for action in the MK Sustainability Strategy.

The CitiZEN Interest Board was a great success producing some dynamic discussions and intelligent suggestions for future sustainable planning. The suggestions have been forwarded to the designer of the new planning SPD released in 2020.

Community Action Platform for Energy (CAPE)

CAPE ran between 2015 and 2017. This project developed an interactive website that allowed citizens and communities in Milton Keynes to start and run projects that will make their energy use cheaper, more effective and more sustainable. It made use of the latest technologies such as the internet, social media, satellite imaging and data matching.


In October 2014, the Imagine MK 2050 roadmap was approved by Milton Keynes Council and adopted as an update to the existing low carbon living strategy 2010.

Read the IMAGINE 2050 Roadmap which was the an occasion to take a fresh look at the low carbon strategy for Milton Keynes. This has since been updated to our current Sustainability Strategy 2019 to 2050.

Low carbon living

The low carbon living programme was developed to re-establish the city as a place where new ideas can be tested, and innovation incorporated into daily living. A range of projects were proposed to support and encourage residents to embrace the low carbon agenda and offer a business environment which welcomes companies working in the “green” economy.

The Milton Keynes low carbon programme prospectus sets out the city’s sustainable development under four main themes:

  • Your part in the future: engaging the community and local initiatives
  • A low carbon city: reducing the environmental impact of buildings and transport
  • Technology: improving the present and protecting the future
  • Direction: clear and informed strategies, policies and master planning

Sustainability Team contact information