Placemaking Initiatives

Sustainable communities: quality with quantity

RIBA's response to government sustainability studies in a small booklet of 30 pages. The document recommends changes to the planning system, and tackles issues such as transport, housing or the making of places.

RIBA Publications, 2004.

Biodiversity by Design
A Guide for Sustainable Communities

Practicle, design-led examples of how enhancing biodiversity can and should be designed in to a new development from the earliest stages. The guide is particularly aimed for those involved in the delivery of sustainable communities, as envisioned byu the Governement in its "sustainalbe Communities Plan".

Produced by URBED for the TCPA in september 2004.

Click here to download PDF version of:

Housing for a compact City
Guide created by the Great London Authority. Well-designed, higher density housing is part of London's urban tradition. As the capital faces an unprecedented period of growth, there is a need to create sustainable communities that are attractive, inclusive and accessible. By illustrating a selection of well-designed residential developments in European cities, this publication focuses on the importance of good design in creating sucessful neighbourhoods.

Published in June 2003 by the Great London Authority
ISBN: 185261 4390

Designing for Accessibility
This guide has been produced by The Centre for Accessible Environments. The design guidance covers features that commonly occur in a wide range of public buildings. Guidance is given on the external environment including car parking, setting-down points, routes, street furniture, external ramps, external steps and handrails.

2004 edition published by RIBA Enterprises in collaboration with CAE

Urban Design Guidance by Rob Cowan.
Amid a a great deal of confusion about what design guidance is, how it should be prepared, what clients expect, what services consultants offer, and what resources are required, this guide focuses on the detail, spelling out exactly what local authorities might include in urban design guidance and what developers and designers should expect to find in it. It provides a framework for all those involved in the development process.
Its aim is to help people use the right tools for the job, and to use them effectively. It is addressed to everyone who plays a part in commissioning, preparing or using guidance, whether as developers, council officers, consultants, politicians or members of partnerships.

Published July 2002 for the Urban Design Group by Thomas Telford Publishing.

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For the entire 'Better Places to Live - By Design' document click here to access the ODPM (Communities and Local Government)website 

Better Places to Live - By Design
This guide aims to promote deeper thought and greater flair from those entrusted with creating better places to live. Following on from By design - a guide to better urban design, this draws together the principles of good urban design as they relate to the residential environment to help move the practice of good design forward. It focuses on the attributes that underlie successful residential environments in order to provide guidance on implementing the new approach to planning for housing set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 (PPG3).
Published for the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions and CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) by Thomas Telford Publishing, 2001.

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(Click on the image to view extracts)

The Urban Design Compendium was published by English Partnerships in partnership with The Housing Corporation and examines the factors that make neighbourhoods stimulating and active places in which residents feel comfortable and safe. It aims to provide accessible advice to developers, funding agencies and partners on the achievement and assessment of the quality of urban design for the development and regeneration of urban areas. It is designed to provide a source of best practice to all those involved in the regeneration and development industries. The Compendium was produced by consultants Llewelyn-Davies, and is available free from English Partnerships
Published August 2000.

By Design Cover

Click here to access the ODPM website (Communities and Local Government) for a web based version of 'By Design'

By Design - Urban Design in the Planning System: Towards Better Practice
This new design guide aimed at driving up standards in urban design and forms a key part of the Government's strategy for promoting better urban design in the planning and development system. It has relevance for all aspects of the built environment - including the design of buildings and spaces, landscapes, roads and movement systems - and to villages as well as city centres.
Published for the Department of the Environment, Transport & the Regions by Thomas Telford Publishing, 18 May 2000.

Protecting Design Quality in Planning
September 2003

This CABE manual advises on deliverying quality built environment design through the planning system. Steps are outlined that planning authorities must take to protect design quality. The guide highlights the tools which are already available within the planning system and guides practice towards the most effective use of these mechanisms to ensure that planning delivers quality design.
Design manuals such as this are essential to bridge the gap between design policy and the product of the built environment.
Highly recommended reading for all planning officers.

The Future of Physical Regeneration in England
March 2003

A joint publication by RICS and CABE investigating the extent of the Regional Development Agencies commitment to physical regeneration.
The report examines RDA spending and variations between RDA prorities.
Insightful and informative.


Design Briefing in Towns.
A classic example of design guidance prepared for the Urban Design Unit of The Scottish Development Dept. in 1978.
Published on RUDI on September 3, 1998.

Also Introduction by Professor John Punter. Published on RUDI on February 7, 1999.


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Secured by Design

Secured by Design (SBD) is a police initiative to encourage the building industry to adopt crime prevention measures in development design to assist in reducing the opportunity for crime and the fear of crime, creating a safer and more secure environment.

Secured by Design GUIDANCE is available through the website for the design of new homes, refurbished homes, commercial premises, car parks and other police crime prevention projects.