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 National Urban Design Awards

Thursday 2nd March 2017 - London

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Urban Update - Today's News

24 February

General News

What’s the point of building a million new homes if they’re not fit to live in? - Guardian

Over time, nuisance flooding can cost more than extreme, infrequent events - UCI

Liquid hydrogen may be way forward for sustainable air travel - AAAS

Sugar's 'tipping point' link to Alzheimer's disease revealed – University of Bath

UK Government Plan to Prevent Child Obesity Is 'Severely Limited,' Argue Experts - BMJ

Is your smartphone making you shy? – A review of research into shyness – The Conversation

Views sought on Sunderland seafront regeneration scheme – Sunderland Echo

Market Intelligence

UK sees increase in number of high-rise buildings – Building Products

Why Derby's unloved 'Debenhams zone' could finally be set to blossom – Derby Telegraph

Phnom Penh - Infrastructure development struggles to keep pace with needs of a growing city Phnom Penh Post

Otterpool Park Garden Village nr Ashford Kent runs into opposition – Kent Online

London developer Apex Airspace proposes to build modular homes on rooftops in just 45 weeks – City AM

Record £2bn housing plan for Household Cavalry's Hyde Park barracks – London Evening Standard

Australia must face some home truths about housing affordability – Sydney Morning Herald


Africa's 'resilient cities' plan for the future - KXLF


Thursday 23 February

ONS data show that house price increases in London have dramatically outpaced the rest of Great Britain – City AM

Fixing the Broken Housing Market – the Financial Times reflects – FT Adviser

Housing association development on the rise – Inside Housing

Britain needs to hire 400,000 workers a year to keep building homes - equivalent to one every 77 seconds – The Telegraph

Vision for Charlton’s riverside with 7,500 low to medium rise homes and green bridge – London News Online

Salford to refresh campus masterplan- Place North West

Vibrant & Viable Places ‘Development Loans’ Available to Help With Regeneration of Town Centre Properties – Wrexham.Com
Loans backed by the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places (VVP) scheme are available to developers who may be keen to progress with the redevelopment of town centre properties, but don’t have the capital required to commence on major works.

£160m Alderley Park masterplan – Bdaily

IBI Plans submitted for 150 homes in village near Derby – Derby Telegraph

Helensburgh sets up Architecture and Design Panel – Helensburgh Advetiser

US home sales hit 10-year high, prices soar- Reuters

Trams returning to Dublin – and other changes to look for – Dublin Inquirer

Rushmoor Council consider setting up its own housing rental company – get Hampshire

Moscow to demolish 8000 Soviet-era housing blocks – BBC

Unite to build 7,500 more rooms for UK students – Telegraph

New virtual reality device to help design dementia-friendly buildings – Scottish Housing News

Housing market could be ‘strangled’ by car parking obsession – The Courier

South Cambridgeshire District Council is seeking three architects for a framework covering £50 million worth of housing developments – Architects Journal


Wednesday 22 February

Market Intelligence

University of Salford seeks consultants to re-masterplan its main city centre campus and surrounds – Architects Journal

London’s ability to ‘re-invent and evolve’ makes it Europe’s most superior city – Property Investor Today

MVRDV and Austin Smith Lord selected to design reinvigoration of downtown Glasgow – Arch Daily

Green light for Ayr riverside regeneration masterplan – Scottish Construction Now

Plans approved for £175m Sheffield regeneration scheme – Property Investor Today

Taunton garden town: Persimmon Homes set to file planning application for 2,500 homes – Somerset Live
Plans for 1500 homes on Yorkshire coast a Bridlington to be revealed
 - York Press

Cambridge – Plans for 200 homes next to Fulbourne Hospital to be submitted – Cambridge News

Aberdeen City Council commission Savills to study new city housing projects – Press and Journal


Taunton - Persimmon Homes plans 2,500 new homes in Monkton Heathfield – This is the West Country

Research and General Interest

How to retain a little personality in Hong Kong’s concrete jungle - South China Morning Post

New Zealanders call for swimmable rivers currently polluted by cows, and poor sewerage, stormwater and urban design – Scoop NZ

Stefano Boeri proposes forest city - Guardian
Innovative or a scale-up of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon idea of c290 BCE (possibly near the modern day Mosul)  

Human senses confounded by modern environment and lifestyles – Independent
High sugar diets, life in artificially lit environments looking at LED screens, polluted air.

Could the supermarket logistics chains that enable “permanent global summertime” food supplies collapse? – The Guardian
Lettuce from South America – 1 food calorie for 127 calories in expended transport = unlikely to be sustainable

Neglected Devon bus shelter gets interior makeover - Telegraph

Is Dadar, Mumbai’s first planned suburb, becoming hipster cool?  - Scroll India
New 'central heating for cities' to help reduce energy bills  - DCLG

Nero’s palace gets virtual reality treatment - CBS

Collapse of Aztec society post Spanish invasion linked to highly fatal typhus-like illness caused by Salmonella enterica strain  - Nature

Medieval graffiti survey underway in Bolton  - The Bolton News


Tuesday 21st February

5 Problems with neighbourhood plans – Simonicity
Includes reliance on volunteers, bias towards affluent areas, drain on council resources when challenged. 

Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape - City Lab,

Could loss of EU farm subsidies change the British rural landscape– The Epoch Times
Depopulation of rural areas, land abandonment

2.5 mile cycle route proposed for Birmingham's A38– Birmingham Post

Moving to university has devastating effect on friendships formed at school according to Oxford University study – The Telegraph

Automatic train operation: the future of UK mainline railways – Railway Technology
It is being used in Thameslink to increase throughput to 24 trains per hour

Translink Belfast bus-rail hub plans revealed – Belfast News

Green light for University of Glasgow’s £1bn campus masterplan – Scottish Construction

Town centre masterplan consultation to shape future of Bury St Edmunds launches February 27 – East Anglian Daily Times

Welsh Government overrules council by granting permission for 300 homes on green field land outside the local plan settlement limit in Carmarthen  – Wales Online

Pembroke Council proposes to create regeneration masterplans for each of its main towns

Developer who flouted planning rules ordered tear down unauthorised building – Wandsworth Council


BOOK LAUNCH - London - Design Governance: The CABE Experiment - Tickets, Fri, 3 Mar 2017 at 18:00 | Eventbrite  - all welcome


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


Latest Urban Update - Weekly Editions 

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

20 February 2016

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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