Urban Update 13 February 2017

Built Environment

Quiz: guess the city from its skyline - Guardian

Alfred Place park to be central London's first new park in over 100 years - LI

Parks Without Borders: Creating a Seamless Public Realm – ASLA

Mecanoo Unveils Design for Experimental Garden and Palace - ArchDaily

Retrofitting a town square into sprawling suburban Havasu City, Arizona?

Urban gardens - 'low input, high impact' planting that's perfect for balconies and backyards – Homes and Property

2017 Fairy Tales Architecture Competition Winners - Archinect

Unbuilt Los Angeles: the city that might have been – in pictures - Guardian

Paris and Bern consider flower topped street urinals (or “uritrottoir”) to combat “pipi sauvage”  - The Local FR

Humans, Health, Society

Urban Design and Mental Health – Journal – 2nd Edition published

Life in a SkyScraper – The Guardian
What is it really like to live on the 67th floor?  “Stacking people on shelves is a very efficient method of human isolation,” says Jan Gehl

Natural Environment

Amsterdam Rainproof – how an organisation is protecting the city against extreme rainfall – Urban Land
Rain gardens, green roofs, water features, temporarily floodable public spaces

Industry Practice

The dark matter of design: making the value and impact of design more visible -  Design Council

On-line course in decision making for place-making – Scottish Construction Now

Plan on a Page

Jan Gehl receives key to the city of Sydney – ArchitectureAU


Landscaped landbridges proposed to remedy Insterstate 94 as it passes through Minnesota as existing structures near lifespan - University of Minnesota

What If Bike Paths Looked Like Subway Maps? – CityLab

Paris Pushes Its Car-Free Streets Plan Even Further - Citylab
Despite a backlash, the city will extend the areas that are off limits to private cars, making way for more bike lanes and public transit.   

San Francisco Takes a Step Back From Raised Bike Lanes - CityLab
Mountable 2 inch high separator kerbs will make way for posts so as to stop footway parking

How cycling infrastructure affects our health and happiness – Canadian Cycling Magazine

Politics, Philosophy, Economics

Not Just Numbers: Why Designers Are Crucial For Feasibility Studies – Urban Developer



Urban Design Checklist proposed by Queensland State Government for developments over 25,000 square feet
Not popular with Cairns Regional Council, or Urban Development Institute


Frontier City Toronto - Book Review  - The Torontoist



Foster + Partners to Masterplan New Indian State Capital of  Andhra Pradesh – ArchDaily

And controversy follows after Japanese firm Fumihiko Maki which had previously been awarded the contract criticises the award – Arch Daily

Hyderabad – Draft Masterplan ready for release - Additional reporting


Dublin’s Citywest Business Campus competes with high CBD rentals - Independent

Limerick Regeneration Plan Assessed – New build levels disappointing
“bad planning in urban areas lies at the heart of much that is wrong in contemporary urban societies”  - “depressing culs de sac”  -  “There should be more new build to higher densities and quality than existing suburban-style estates”.

Northern Ireland

Castlebrooke moot £400 million Belfast city centre regeneration - BBC


Conference on 3000 year old city of Mohenjodaro, Sindh, Pakistan


Philippines: Panel formed to study possibility of relocating capital


Winning team announced for Singapore  Jurong Lake Districtmasterplan – Construction Index

Interview Cheon Koon Hang – CEO Singapore Housing and Development Board – Business Times
“It is only after the urban design is done that the developers and architects enter the picture.”


UK - draft Airports National Policy Statement is published - Department for Transport

UK's largest PRS scheme launched at Wembley – Quintain propose 5,000 homes – Inside Housing


Greater Manchester spatial framework’s green belt proposals may be blocked by a central government that states that the green belt is safe in its hands – Manchester Evening News

Timelapse Video of Manchester’s biggest office development under way – Manchester Evening News

Vision for Plymouth revealed in new city masterplan by LDA Design – Plymouth Herald

Derby to showcase investment opportunities in city centre and Infinity Science Park – East Midlands Business Insider

City and Country propose redevelopment and adaption of Gloucester Prison for housing retaining cell block, debtors prison,  governor's house and gate house – South West Business


Leith is Changing – an essay on the regeneration of Edinburgh’s port – iNews

£90million Mallaig Harbour expansion proposed to bring in cruise ships and create jobs – The Press and Journal


Modern Urban Design Balances Infrastructural Needs With Public Opinion -  Radio programme 18 minutes
Public vote for buildings over 30ft?


BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is working on an economic blueprint aimed at ensuring the city regains its industrial hub status, after suffering years of de-industrialisation. – Zimbabwe News Day



The Housing White Paper – Department for Communities and Local Government


Housing White Paper Reporting

The housing white paper is a damp squib - because the government is afraid of Middle England – New Statesman

To solve the housing crisis we need new ideas, not garden cities – The Guardian

The Guardian view on the housing white paper: it won’t fix a broken market – Guardian

Housing White Paper: Radical or feeble? – BBC

Are you a landlord, first-time buyer, renter or would-be downsizer? How the Government's Housing White Paper plans will affect you – Daily Mail

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid admits owning a home is a 'distant dream' for millions - Daily Mail

The big winners of the housing white paper: Housebuilders' and estate agents' shares are climbing – City AM

More affordable housing promised in White Paper - BBC

Housing market is 'broken', government admits in white paper – Guardian

Government launches 'revolutionary' White Paper to fix the housing crisis - what wasn't in it that should have been? – Telegraph

Sajid Javid sets out fix for ‘broken’ housing market – Financial Times
Proposals aim to spur councils and developers to build more quickly

Plan to tackle Britain’s housing shortage attacked as timid – Financial Times
Long-awaited strategy puts pressure on developers to build but fails to impose higher targets

Government to bolster councils' CPO powers to speed up housing delivery  - Housing Today

"Really, is that it?" - reactions to the government's housing white paper – City AM

It is unclear how the government will contend with the fact that the vast majority of houses that are being built in isolated or inaccessible locations where car ownership and use is essential for normal life.   The Bilfinger GVA research conducted for the RTPI last year found that only 13 percent of recently built housing was located within walking distance of a railway, light rail or metro station.    The research did not comment on the frequency of services.  Some railway stations have only one train service an hour.  Bus services can be worse.  Dedicated cycling facilities are rare, so the residents of these new developments must use existing streets and highways: places that the public consider too dangerous for cyclists