best practice guides
save our streets

Best practice and placemaking initiatives are ‘how to do it’ manifestos, design strategies, design initiatives, design briefs, manuals and handbooks created by local authorities, Government bodies, professional bodies and campaigning and community groups. These offer information and advice outside of the regulatory system.

For UK statutory design guidance , please visit RUDI's Design Guidance section.

For January 2007 onwards, RUDI's best practice and placemaking initiatives scroll down.

Before January 2007, RUDI's best practice and placemaking initiatives are divided into sections (click here)

Free to access on RUDI: core urban design guides

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

Click here for other free to access guides

Your place, your plan: Tips for drawing up a Neighbourhood Plan

The real power behind planning is the Local Plan – and local people now have much stronger rights to help create that Plan. If you get the right plan for your area, you can help to steer development to where it is needed and stop bad planning applications being made in the first place

Blue sky, green space: Understanding the Contribution Parks and Green Spaces can make to Improving People’s Lives

This document outlines in the broadest sense how the wide range of green spaces – from parks and gardens to city farms, country parks, woodlands and wildlife sites to play areas, allotments to urban plazas – bring benefits to poeople and cities, whether provided and managed by statutory agencies, local authorities or by community led and managed groups such as community gardens.

Mass localism: a way to help small communities solve big social challenges

Localism presents a dilemma. Government has traditionally found it difficult to support genuine local solutions while achieving national impact and scale. This report offers a solution: an approach by which central and local government can encourage widespread, high quality local responses to big challenges. The approach draws on the lessons of NESTA’s Big Green Challenge – a successful programme to support communities to reduce carbon emissions.

Connected communities: RSA report

This report gives an account of the first year of the RSA Connected Communities project. Our work draws on a wealth of recent research that reveals the striking extent to which social networks affect our behaviour and wellbeing. We are working in New Cross Gate in southeast London, and in Knowle West, Bristol, to apply this knowledge at a local level, by examining how social networks might help communities to help themselves.

Better streets: practical steps

Not all of local and/or highways authorities want, or have the resources available, to transform local streets completely, but there are many things that can be done to improve them in the course of routine maintenance, or small-scale improvements. These can be very cheap to implement from an engineering point of view and can be carried out quickly. They can nonetheless achieve substantial improvements without requiring extensive consultation design and procurement processes.This guide uses current London case studies to explore funding, management, monitoring and evaluation, training and implementation.

Re-imagining the high street: Escape from Clone Town Britain – a nef report

In this report, nef offers up a different vision of our high streets – one which does not rely on our being merely consumers but on developing a different experience of the high street which supports us to live better, more sustainably. If we are to meet a range of challenges that we face, from climate change to the economic crisis, we need to bring our high streets back to life.

Community-led spaces: A guide for local authorities and community groups

As the localism agenda and the move to neighbourhood planning moves ahead, this guide from Cabe and The Asset Transfer Unit provides a comprehensive introduction to the main issues surrounding transfer of public space assets. Although primarily focusing on the issues around transferring spaces from local authorities to community groups, the guide is also of relevance to other public bodies considering transferring their spaces.

A Gathering Storm? Shop Vacancy Report: mid year 2010, from the Local Data Company

Already there is a clear north/ south divide apparent in shop vacancy. The big centres in London and the South East particularly are holding up well, while further north, vacancy rates are much higher. Overall at the half year, there are many more centres getting worse than are getting better. Of the 63 large centres analysed, ten centres showed an improvement over the six months to the half year, and only eight of these showed a consistent improvement over the year.

DIY Streets Project Review 2010 from Sustrans

Hundreds of residents in 11 streets across England and Wales are now benefiting from Sustrans’ DIY Streets pilot project, which ran from 2007 to 2010. This review presents this successful project’s encouraging findings, with qualitative results throughout drawn from door-to-door resident surveys conducted before and after the DIY Streets changes.

Sustainable Community Infrastructure: a joint report by the UK Green Building Council and the Zero Carbon Hub

Conceiving and delivering infrastructure at a neighbourhood scale as an integrated package represents a very significant opportunity to deliver environmental, social and economic objectives. A 'community infrastructure' package will have a variety of constituent elements and deliver a range of sustainability benefits. Constituent elements of a community infrastructure package could include: Heat and cooling, electricity supply, energy generation, water supply, water disposal, waste disposal, waste re-use and communications infrastructure