Dimensions of the sustainble city: the value of compact, higher density and mixed use urban forms

Are more compact, higher density and mixed use urban forms more environmentally sound, more efficient for transport, more economically viable and more socially beneficial?

Following five years of detailed analysis across five UK cities, the CityForm consortium came up with rather surprising insights. Professor Mike Jenks of the CityForm consortium explains its findings

Sustain our Suburbs

This report was commissioned by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Commission for the Built Environment (CABE) in order to examine the suburban context and discover what policy and practice solutions could be developed to enable suburbs to respond appropriately to the climate change, social cohesion, affordable housing and sustainable development ambitions laid out by Government.

For the purposes of this scoping study we have focused solely on the English context, but will extrapolate our findings to the wider UK context in subsequent work.

Tuning in to the sound of the suburbs

By Laura Vaughan

New analysis revealing the scale and diversity of socio-economic activity taking place in and around suburban high streets belies the widespread perception of suburbia as synonymous with social and architectural homogeneity, says Laura Vaughan

Avoiding a self-fulfilling prophecy that focuses on residential or retail-based development solutions is not simply a challenge for recently planned settlements. The critical problem is the extent to which existing suburbs can adapt for future growth. There is an urgent need for designers, planners and policy makers to recognise how suburbia contains a great variety of distinctive places for living and working.

Harold Wood: Essex

The provision of high quality, well-defined public spaces is creating an active environment for a new suburban community on the former Harold Woodhospital site in Havering, Greater London.

Creating a ‘sense of place’ in suburban lower to medium density housing developments, where public transport is limited and streets are traditionally dominated by the car, remains a challenge for designers and policymakers. On the site of the former hospital at Harold Wood, Essex, developer Countryside Properties and architect and masterplanner Scott Brownrigg set out to create attractive new neighbourhoods defined by open spaces.

Good and bad design and building codes: coding for creativity and value

Matthew Carmona
Matthew Carmora, Head of the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL
16 minutes
Matthew Carmora presentation on building codes, at the Building Centre, as part of the: Securing Successful Densification in our Suburbs, UrbanBuzz Showcase Seminar.

Creating urban subcentres: balancing the local & the global

Tim Stonor, Managing Director, Space Syntax
20 mins

Tim Stonor's presentation at the Building Centre, a presentation from the Securing Successful Densification in our Suburbs, an UrbanBuzz Showcase Seminar

Towards an holistic understanding of suburban space

Dr Muki Haklay
Dr Muki Haklay, Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL
15 minutes
The Towards Successful Suburban Centres project, baaed at UCL, is one of several academic projects that are integrating socio-economic data with information about the layout of urban areas, GIS and spatial analysis techniques. These new techniques will support designers and planners by enabling analysis of the factors that have, over time, made suburban town centres successful and vibrant.