Urban Update 20 February 2017

Built Environment

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

Energy, Climate Change

Air conditioning adds to urban heat island effect – Glasgow Herald

Humans, Health, Society

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

Nature Deficit Disorder – Telegraph
Review article

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

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

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

Industry Practice

8 Steps To Effective Urban Design – The Urban Developer

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

'East African Community Transport Corridors Vital' - All Africa

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

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.  

Politics, Philosophy, Economics

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

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 


Urban Design Around the World


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

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

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



Frontier City Toronto - Book Review  - The Torontoist

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

New Zealand

Timelines more important than masterplans for Christchurch projects – The Press


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


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


Philippines: Panel formed to study possibility of relocating capital

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


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


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.”


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.



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

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

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. 



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

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

Historic England takes issue with proposed Manchester Towers – Historic England

Public consultation on pedestrianising central Taunton streets – Somerset County Gazette

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


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

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

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

£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

Plans for Aberdeen town centre retail expansion mooted – Evening Press

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

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

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

Rugely 300 home master plan – Staffordshire Newsletter

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Phoenix Urban Design Week -  Phoenix News

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


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


Housing White Paper Reporting

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

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

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