Urban Update 1 January 2017
Research and Industry News
Urban Design Around the World
Urban Design Events
- An additional 200,000 homes, or a badging exercise? - As the press release states "garden villages are named" as opposed to these being new schemes entering the planning system for the first time. Nonetheless media including the Financial Times has reported a Government announcement for 200,000 new homes.
- £6 million in funding across the 14 villages - There is a £6million fund to “unlock the full capacity of sites, providing funding for additional resources and expertise to accelerate development and avoid delays.”
- What is a garden town? – “a development of more than 10,000 homes
- What is a garden village? – "a settlement of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes.”
Analysis carried out for Urban Update finds that:
- Only 1 out of the 14 garden villages has a train station – one (Columpton) with the possibility of a new station
- 9 are located on a site bounded by a major dual carriageway or motorway, where noise pollution will be an issue.
- 3 are in open countryside while a fourth fills in a rural gap between two urban areas.
Earlier Government Paper - Locally-Led Garden Villages, Towns and Cities
Location of 14 New Garden Villages Revealed - Independent
Cycle Boom – the Oxford Brookes Study into Cycling in the Over 50s – summarised in 5 bullet points by Ben Spencer
- Policymakers are looking for ways to support and encourage people to stay active for longer. Currently there are low levels of older people cycling in the UK compared to northern Europe.
- The cycle BOOM study found multiple potential benefits to mobility, health and wellbeing for cyclists aged 50 and over but that they view cycling as dangerous.
- To enable more older people to cycle in the UK cycle BOOM makes recommendations based on the WHO Age Friendly City domains (http://www.who.int/ageing/age_friendly_cities_guide/en/). These include:
- Recognising the full potential of cycling for health and wellbeing, and as a mobility tool for older people;
- Designing outdoor space to offer a safe, comfortable, convenient and enjoyable experience for cycling;
- Providing secure and convenient cycle storage and street access, and
- To ‘think beyond the building’ to improve access to neighbourhood services by cycle.
- Improvements that enable cycling by older people benefit pedestrians, drivers and other cyclists of different ages and abilities. The availability of power-assisted cycles (e-bikes) also provides health and wellbeing benefits on a par with pedal cycles.
- The Summary Report including full recommendations, Briefing Notes (including one for Planners, Engineers & Designers), participant videos and more outputs are here: http://www.cycleboom.org/outputs/
La Plata Residents Reclaim the Streets and Welcome in the New Year
From Laura Alvarez - Convenor UDG Midlands
The models are funded by drivers who pass by and leave donations. Watch how it happens here
RESEARCH AND INDUSTRY NEWS
Urban Design Can Make Winter More Bearable
Edmonton city council hopes to push a new list of recommendations into law to force developers to design for the weather, and to make the city easier to live in when temperatures drop below freezing.
Colonnades, south facing pocket parks, evergreen trees to block the winter wind. Set backs in building lines to provide shelter from the wind. Tall buildings kept slim to let through the low winter sun.
- Green spaces
- Active spaces
- Social spaces
- Safe spaces
- Sensory overload
- Understanding “boringness”
Australia launches its first underground waste collection system
A vacuum system produced by Envac is to be installed at Sunshine Coast, Queensland. The system will collect three waste streams including general, organic and recyclable waste.
Examining the potential and limitations of the 'internet of things' for developing countries
Politics Philosophy, Economics
Does the New UN Urban Agenda adequately equip planners to deal with informal settlements?
To better integrate these settlements into cities globally, they need to be recognized — politically, socially and spatially — and made visible through the gaze of mapping and research.
“Deal with” seems a bit of a loaded term however.
Humans, Health, Society
Modern life responsible for ‘worrying’ health in middle aged
Eight out of 10 of the middle aged either weigh too much, drink too much or don’t exercise enough, as new analysis from Public Health England (PHE) out today
Brain tests predict children's futures - BBC
In a longitudinal study of 1,000 children in New Zealand, those who had low test scores for language, behavioural, movement and cognitive skills at three years old went on to account for more than 80% of crimes, required 78% of prescriptions and received 66% of social welfare payments in adulthood.
The Case for Healthy Places – PPS report
This is a 100 page review of research on health places.
Uber's vision for the future of transportation - Business Insider
How driverless cars are set to reinvent and humanise our streets - Business Insider
Self-driving cars will pave way for people-friendly streets, says study
Pedestrians, Autonomous Vehicles and Cities - University of California
Urban Design Awards Messisauga, Canada
Unfortunately some of these awards excel in one area only, such as environmental performance. The test of good urban design should be excellence in all aspects, not just one.
An Indian state wants to build a modern city that looks like an ancient kingdom
“In the early 1950s, when Kengal Hanumanthaiah was chief minister of Mysore, a Russian delegation visited Bangalore. On being taken around the city, some of the Russian members repeatedly asked him: “Have you no architecture of your own? The ones you have are all European buildings.”……
This aspiration will be welcomed by anyone who is tired of the uniformity of globalized styles of architecture and urban design. But some might also say the same of the ubiquity of Greek Revival architecture in the 18th and 19th century.
England’s Hidden Architectural Gems - BBC
The Leeds Library, Cambridge Bhuddist centre, Singers hill synagogue, the Black Horse Hotel, Preston
White House releases strategy for deep decarbonization by 2050
The strategy has been released by an Obama Whitehouse, not a Trump Whitehouse, and so may carry limited weight.
Events coming up – extensive programme some free, some charged/ £175+VAT (Free for UDL subscribers)
Making the most of Build to Rent – Report launch
note new date
19 January, 8:30-11am at The Foundry, Vauxhall –
Design South East / Kent Design
Masterclass: Assessing Housing Schemes
9 February 2017
Drivers of Distinctiveness: Maximising the Heritage and Culture Potential of Place
23 February 23, 2017
From Visions of Utopia to Lipstick on the Gorilla
Wolfson College Lecture series
Concrete to the Rescue - 16 Feb 2017
Dreams of Machines - 23 Feb 2017
Putting Lipstick on the Gorilla - 04 May 2017
2-day Conference, Liverpool 22 - 23 March 2017, now in its 3rd year
West Midlands Urban Design Forum
UDG hosts its most unpopular ever Festive Event
Organised by Philp Cave, compered by Rob Cowan the event took the theme of George Orwell's book 1984. Room 101 is the room which is placed the inidividual's greatest nightmare, fear or phobia. On offer were:
Places that say NO
The inadequacies of A4 Paper
On the basis of the booing decible level, Leo Hammond walked away with a dinner voucher, and Cany Ash, a bottle of champagne. We are grateful to Marshalls for hosting the evening and for providing the prizes.
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Upcoming UDG Events
Unless otherwise stated, all events are held in The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ at 6.30 pm.
Tickets can be purchased at the door from 6.00pm: £3.00 for UDG members and £7.00 non-members; £1.00 for UDG member students and £3.00 non-member students.