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Urban Update - Today's News

Monday 20th February

TfL consults on possible south eastward extension of the Bakerloo line - TfL

How smarter urbanisation can help us meet the challenges of rapid growth  - Nicholas Falk – The Planner

“Smart Cities” have all the trappings of modernist urban renewal, so why are urbanists jumping on the bandwagon? – Progress

New Right to Build Task Force to bring on large and affordable custom build – Custom Build Strategy

How Employers Impose Their Own Growth Boundaries – The American Conservative
Article mentions “the theory of the Favored Quarter”: the idea that high-end employers and the affluent do not disperse from the central city in all directions, but rather in one specific direction.

First look at Bognor Regis ‘masterplan’ – Bognor Regis Observer

20 year development plan underway at Shoreham port – Marine Link

Exploring the footsteps of the Indus civilisation – The Express Tribune
More on the Mohenjodaro conference

A new study suggests walking an extra three kilometres every day may reduce by 9 per cent the average time Australians aged over 55 spend in hospital each year – SBS

Trompe-l'œil pedestrian crossings - Otago Daily Times

Driverless cars could change urban landscape – Chicago Tribune
Includes a rendering of a street illustrating the possibility that driverless vehicles could be run on narrow strips of concrete – like a guided busway but without the guides – and the acres of tarmac replaced of porous greenspace.

Perth real estate Micro blocks of 80sqm to go on sale -  Perth Now

California North Bay's Downtown Waterfront Master plan released fo consultation  -  Bay Today
Full details – City of North Bay

Abu Dhabi: all landscape and streetscape irrigation and fountain systems to be supplied by treated sewage effluent by the year 2030 – Middle East North Africa Financial Network


17 Feb

UK Business rates revaluation taxes high street retailers at the expense of internet giants
Daily Mail  “Outrageous and unfair - BBC,  biggest issue for small firms in London – The Guardian

Business rates.... a tax on the sustainability of towns and cities?  - Urban Update 

Historic England takes issue with proposed Manchester Towers – Historic England

Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha state, India seeks bus-based mobility solution – Orissa Diary

Council gives green light to new cycling and pedestrian river crossing in Cambridge – Cambridge News

Winter Cities Shake-up conference addresses Edmonton’s northern urban experience – Vue Weekly  alsoCBC Report   
Conference covers a range of issues from mental health, psychology through to sidewalk snow clearance.

McGregor Coxall to design “bird airport” wetland park in Tianjin - Archinect

Great Yarmouth rail station area set for £2m makeover – Eastern Daily Press

Wigan’s historic Eckersley Mill redevelopment back on track – Wigan Today

£4m Birkenhead Park masterplan including new bandstand, Everest statue and red squirrel reserve – Liverpool Echo

Sheffield’s £37m Gulliver's Valley theme park set in green belt awaits decision by secretary of state – The Star

Glasgow University given green light to build on Western Infirmary site – Glasgow Herald

Concern over proposed Sydney light rail missing Olympic park -   Financial Review

Plans for Aberdeen town centre retail expansion mooted – Evening Press


16 Feb

8 Steps To Effective Urban Design – The Urban Developer

Wasted Urban Infrastructure: The City Of Detroit – Analysis – Eurasia Review

Leeds’s new post-trolleybus transport masterplan is ‘on the verge of being delivered to Ministers’ – Yorkshire Evening Post
Leeds – largest city in Europe without rapid transit system

New Green Belt atlas shows how much space England has left for housing – City Metric
It is not clear whether the author of this article has bought into the idea of developing around public transport nodes .  View the maps

Outline planning consent for £175m West Bar Bar  mixed use development Sheffield  - Insider

RHS Wisley £65m masterplan to include retail space, plant centre and cherry avenue – get Surrey

Proposal for multi-story car park at John Radcliffe hospital, Oxford rejected by council over traffic concerns – BBC

'East African Community Transport Corridors Vital' - All Africa

Glass towers will be great for Greenwich Peninsula – but it still needs a bridge to Canary Wharf  – City Metric

Panama seeks consultants to build out nascent metro system – Global Construction Review

University of Warwick to showcase Wellesbourne campus at MIPIM as innovation hub – Coventry Telegraph

Historic Paringa Park, South Australia, gets set for a makeover – South Coast Register

Manilla, poor architecture, urban design and corruption increase earthquake damage risk – Manilla Times

Doctor prescribes walking, cycling, taking public transit, local shops, plus protected greenspace  in compact and complete communities for residents of Simcoe County, Ontario – Orillia Packet

Dispute breaks out over plans to move market street stalls in Mumbai in the name of decongestion – Mid-day



15 Feb

Air conditioning adds to urban heat island effect – Glasgow Herald

UK House Prices increased by 7.5 per cent in 2016 – UK Government

Royal Fine Art Commission £4000 Ideas Competition / Turn your Small Change into Big Money – RFAC
RFAC are looking for simple practical design changes in any of the three fields of urban design, architecture and highways/traffic management that would measurably improve quality of life. 

PwC uses spatial data analysis to create development masterplan for the Georgian Capital of Tbilisi – The Financial

University of Warwick to take hopes to develop Wellesbourne campus to MIPIM – Stratford Observer

Major design competition launched for £25m Edinburgh Ross Pavilion and Gardens regeneration project – Horticulture Week

Louisiana State University, master planning firm present draft of campus Master Plan – LSUNow

Toronto City Presents Options for King Street 'Transit-First' Corridor – Urban Toronto

Public consultation on pedestrianising central Taunton streets – Somerset County Gazette

Community leaders seek a ‘manifesto’ for Farnham -  Farnham Herald

Modest changes in Chicago Streets to increase walkability and cycleability - TimeOut


14 February

Housing White Paper – the white paper that wasn’t worth the wait - BD

Nature Deficit Disorder – Telegraph
Review article

Select Committee Inquiry on Public Parks report – Parks face threat of decline with severe consequences -  UK Parliament

Rugely 300 home master plan – Staffordshire Newsletter

Town and District Council at odds over Didcot expansion – The Oxford Times

Urban renewal to revive Bangkok for its 250th birthday – Chanel News Asia
Bangkok will celebrate its 250th birthday in 2032 and efforts are being made to design its future.

Lowline Test Almost Over, Scaling Up Underground Park Will Be Next – Next City

Residents look to purchase Mount Pleasant site under “Community Right to Build – Architects Journal

Community group in Leeds aims to turn developer to address homes shortage – The Politics

Rotherham Council's plans to regenerate Forge Island by buying the land from Tesco – Insider Media
Town centre masterplan by WYG

Wider sidewalks, parallel parking in plans for downtown St Cloud City – SC Times

Walkable Urban Code Aims To Make Phoenix A More Walkable City - KJZZ

Forget about "balance" with cars; we have to prioritize walking, biking and transit - Treehugger

Draft master plan on the development of Yadagirigutta temple – Hyderabad – The Hans India

Department for Transport fails to dazzle by responding to changes in car headlight technology – Daily Mail

800 homes plan for Inverness – around West Link Bypass -
Is this really the best way to design an urban by-pass?  West Link simulation flypast

New air quality study finds that car drivers cause the most pollution in London – but are least exposed to it themselves – University of Surrey
No figures in this press release.  


13 Feb

The Highline – oversold?  - CityLab
Mostly used by white tourists?

Housing White Paper includes commitment to 100% open data property registrationfoundation of housing master plan – UK Authority

Does this Government have guts enough to solve the housing crisis? – The Telegraph

Working hard to create a mini-Singapore - in Africa – Channel News Asia
Singaporeans are training teachers, planning towns and impacting the lives of communities in Rwanda, as profiled in the documentary Finding Singapore

Gardiner Off-Ramps Going, New Ramp and Park Coming – Urban Toronto
Another example of the North American movement to remove major urban flyovers

Timelines more important than masterplans for Christchurch projects – The Press

Glasgow’s St Peter’s Seminary –  A curious tale of rapid dereliction and possible revival – BBC

Phoenix Urban Design Week -  Phoenix News

First 3D printed (foot) bridge opens in Spain – ArchDaily
Looks like a wax bridge that has been left in the sun.

Are cities too big or too small –  should we live in fewer, larger cities? – CityLab


Latest Urban Update - Weekly Editions 

One week's international and research news carefully sorted and organised for you to read

13 February 2016

6 February 2017

30 January 2017

23 January 2017

16 January 2017

1st January 2017


Urban Design Directory - Featured Practice

Amec Foster Wheeler

Defence College for Technical Training, Lyneham



Masterplanning and design of new Defence College for Technical Training.  Creative re-use of disused military base including new build, refurbishment, conversion and landscape design.


The Defence College for Technical Training is currently under construction at Lyneham in Wiltshire, which when completed will create a joint college for Army, Navy and RAF.  The first phase of the project involves approximately 150000m2 of new build and 150000m2 of refurbishment and conversion of the of the former RAF Lyneham as well as extensive civil and landscape works to create the required upgraded infrastructure and external training environment. 

The design includes many innovative sustainability measures, not least the savings made in terms of cost, embodied energy and resources through the creative re-use of extensive areas of the existing estate.  The AMEC design team undertook a thorough process of building and requirements analysis and consultation with end-users to determine a strategy for the effective re-use of buildings where this supported the creation of a first-class training environment.  New buildings were carefully designed to complement the refurbishment and conversion of the existing estate, providing a combination of bespoke facilities and flexible new accommodation in a series of highly energy efficient buildings designed to create visual consistency across the site and helping to provide a campus-like environment.

The work completed by AMEC in securing planning permission for the college was commended by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) South West region as an example of ‘planning excellence’.  Aside from the sheer scale of the application, the judges were particularly impressed by the quality of the technical work and the extent of stakeholder engagement undertaken despite working to a very tight programme. 




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About the Urban Design Group 

Founded in 1978, the Urban Design Group (UDG) is a campaigning membership organisation with over 1000 members who care about the quality of life in our cities, towns and villages, and believe that raising standards of urban design is central to its improvement.

The UDG website contains a wealth of information for anyone interested in urban design including details of urban design practices, university courses, publications and job vacancies, as well as future urban design events. Our regular email newsletter 

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Urban Update - The Latest from the UDG Blog

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