Design & Architecture

News and in-depth coverage of urban design & architecture for town planners.

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Latest Design & Architecture News

MPs recommend equalities probe over local plan approvals

MPs recommend equalities probe over local plan approvals

MPs have recommended that the Equality and Human Rights Commission undertake a formal investigation into whether the Planning Inspectorate has approved local plans which pay 'insufficient regard to the needs of disabled people', in breach of its statutory duties.

Go-ahead for Hereford 'Skylon Tower'

Go-ahead for Hereford 'Skylon Tower'

Plans have been approved for a replica of the 1951 Festival of Britain Skylon sculpture at a site at Hereford's enterprise zone, in line with a recommendation from planners who concluded that the development would not result in 'significant adverse visual effects or adverse impacts on landscape character'.

Go-ahead for Bath mixed-use scheme despite design and heritage concerns

Go-ahead for Bath mixed-use scheme despite design and heritage concerns

Plans have been approved for an office-led, mixed-use regeneration of a former industrial site on the banks of the River Avon in Bath, despite objections flagged by the council's conservation, urban design, landscape and planning policy officers.

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Competition seeks ideas to tackle London's housing crisis

Competition seeks ideas to tackle London's housing crisis

Entries are being invited for a competition designed to generate ideas to tackle London's housing crisis.

GLA to develop 'London-wide interactive digital model' to assist planning for tall buildings

GLA to develop 'London-wide interactive digital model' to assist planning for tall buildings

The Greater London Authority (GLA) is to create a 'London-wide interactive digital model' of the capital to help planners 'envisage the full impact of tall buildings', according to a report.

Westminster consults on plans which could see 'significantly taller buildings'

Westminster consults on plans which could see 'significantly taller buildings'

Westminster could see 'significantly taller buildings' and additional storeys added to existing buildings, under options for consideration in a consultation document published this week.

Latest Design & Architecture Comment

The sector needs more skilled urban designers, by Chris Brown

I had one depressing and one encouraging place-making experience last week. The depressing experience was at a design review panel for a local authority-led scheme. The positive experience was in a meeting with an academic teaching urban design and urbanism.

Design should be the focus for housing delivery, by Chris Brown

Design quality seems to becoming back into policy vogue in government, and the Housing White Paper observes that "73 per cent of people say they would support the building of more homes if well designed and in keeping with their local area".

Blame for bad design can't be pinned on planners, by Chris Brown

There will be a couple of developers - namely Genr8 and Berkeley - breathing small sighs of relief at the moment, having narrowly dodged the bullet of winning the Carbuncle Cup.

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Investing in design is in developers' best interests

Last week at the Housing Design Awards, the speculative housebuilders that build the majority of our new homes and places managed to scoop only a small proportion of the prizes for creating the best designed schemes. Development firm Countryside was the honourable exception.

We need to know more about how our schemes affect wind and shadow, by Chris Brown

This week, I have been looking at a couple of projects that highlight the importance of microclimate.

Neglecting microclimate issues in our cities can have catastrophic impacts, by Chris Brown

Recent developments in the field of urban climate have failed to make an impression on planning, placemaking and development practice in the UK, argues Chris Brown.

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Design & Architecture In Depth

The implications of the government's density drive

The implications of the government's density drive

The Housing White Paper's move to densify development reverses a direction set by the coalition government. Experts welcome the flexibility of the approach. But some highlight potential threats to design quality, while others question the extent of its impact.

How we did it: Producing policy to boost self-build homes

How we did it: Producing policy to boost self-build homes

A Devon council has established a blueprint requiring developers to provide self-build housing. David Dewar reports.

Why Liverpool faces a threat to its World Heritage Site's status

Why Liverpool faces a threat to its World Heritage Site's status

Unesco's request for a moratorium on planning decisions in Liverpool's World Heritage Site and the zone around it is unworkable, commentators say.

How Pipe appointment will influence mayor on plans and design

How Pipe appointment will influence mayor on plans and design

Jules Pipe's appointment as deputy mayor for planning in London is likely to mean a renewed focus on delivering affordable housing and quality design, experts have said.