CYBERNETIC implants could increase people's intelligence and virtual reality could radically change community life by 2050, but residents shape the vision of a future Oxford right now.

An ongoing consultation on how the city should be in 33 years will this week see residents and businesses asked what Oxford's communities and family life should be like.

Oxford City Council said current trends would see life expectancy rise to 91 for women and 89 for men - and the city's population rise from 161,000 to 190,000 by 2050.

It also said new technologies could see prescription pills available direct to people's homes via 3D printers and people having an extended network of virtual friends they never meet.

Oxford currently has the youngest median age - 29.9 years - of anywhere in England and Wales and more than a third of citizens are not from white British backgrounds.

The city council's board member for culture and communities, Dee Sinclair, said she hoped there would be even greater unity among the different communities in Oxford by 2050.

She said: "In the 1980s hearing a language other than English would have been unusual, but now it is wonderfully commonplace.

"This diversity of background has enriched Oxford, opening the minds of natives like myself to new ideas and experiences.

"What is humbling is that these new communities have largely dispersed across Oxford, but I think there is more we can do to encourage this."

She added: "My hope is that, over the next 33 years, there will be even greater unity of the different communities, so that everyone is working together to make this city an even more successful and happy place to live and work."

Joint chief executive of Oxfordshire-based mental health charity Restore, Lesley Dewhurst, envisaged a stigma-free future.

She said: "Our vision is a caring community free of mental health stigma.

"We have been working hard for 40 years to build a world in which people with mental ill-health are valued and treated equally, and we plan to keep on putting people at the heart of what we do.

"In 2050 we'll be combining our decades of hands-on coaching, training and support with our desire to innovate and speed up all the progress we're seeing."

Director of Asylum Welcome, Kate Smart, said: “At Asylum Welcome, our vision for Oxford 2050 is a kindly city that is a close-knit community but also has compassion for the wider world, that balances the pursuit of excellence with the promotion of equality, and a city that retains its historic identity while finding room for people who need shelter to thrive."

Major stakeholders, including tech firms, educational institutions, and other businesses, will be asked to spend 30 minutes with council officers to give their insight to the project.

Those interviews along with people's views will be used to create a website of the priorities for the coming decades - which will be updated and used to make all strategic planning decisions.

To comment on the consultation go to