Journal of Urban Design

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1469-9664
Print ISSN: 1357-4809
In the rapidly expanding suburban periphery of Perth in Western Australia, highly malleable coastal dunes are substituted with expansive artificial topographies of level lots terraced with retaining walls. Although efficient for facilitating current engineering, construction and real estate standards, large-scale terracing significantly impacts ecological systems and place-making processes. The article explicates the emergence of terracing in Perth through analysis of topographic transformation in suburban developments since the 1930s. Understanding the design, engineering and cultural factors that drove increased topographic manipulation over this timeframe provides an important foundation for establishing more topographically sensitive urban design practices in coastal settings.
Viennese architect Ernst Plischke arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1939 as a refugee from Nazi Europe. His long career began and ended in his native Austria, but he spent 24 influential years in New Zealand, first in government service and then in private practice. This paper will focus on the first nine years of Plischke’s time there when he worked for the Department of Housing and Construction and was involved in the design of multi-unit housing projects, community centres, state housing subdivisions and hydrotowns. Using examples at a range of scales, this paper will demonstrate how Plischke adapted his work in response to the opportunities and constraints present in the alien urban environment he encountered in his adopted country, and evaluate the appropriateness of the strategies he devised in the formation of an urban place, where the dominant context was the suburb and single-industry town.
Flood risk warning map for England on 8 th February 2014 (source: Environment Agency)
This Practice Paper identifies and critically examines three alternative approaches and associated design philosophies in response to the problem of urban flooding. It traces the reasons why these three approaches have emerged and discusses the attributes of each. Following this, it examines the potential of the green infrastructure approach as a means to realize ‘evolutionary resilience’ in designing urban environments for enhanced drainage management. The paper then contrasts the three alternative approaches to flood risk management and identifies some implications of advancing the green infrastructure concept in urban design activities.
Design-led regeneration has been promoted in the UK since 1999 with varying degrees of success, and it is an increasingly important tool in the drive for greater urban competitiveness, at least in local government rhetoric. This paper focuses on experience in Cardiff, the Capital of Wales, and in particular the regeneration of Cardiff Bay over the last two decades. Unique among British Urban Development Corporations CBDC was charged with achieving high standards of design in regeneration, and this paper evaluates its efforts against its seven stated objectives. It explains how, and why, the Corporation, and subsequently the City Council, failed to achieve these objectives, and what the implications of these failures are for smaller cities, and particularly those in Wales. It identifies the mismatch between the development ambitions and market size and trends, and suggests that a much more inclusive, collaborative, focused and master-planned approach to brownfield development is required in future. This needs to be backed by a more interventionist and policy/guidance-based control process that raises the general quality of design, rather than a mega-project focused project approach that proceeds largely outside the planning process.
The goal of this paper is to contribute to the development of methods of social innovation in participatory urban design. Based on the ‘Synoikos scenario Workshop’, an adapted methodology was applied to and evaluated within the (participatory action) research context of the European ‘Thought for Food’ (T4F) landscape enhancement project concerning the agro-industrial area surrounding Roeselare in West-Flanders, Belgium. Within this complex spatial and social context, design-based scenarios served as a tool for stimulating participants to discuss their discordant views and to understand the consequences of their activities for others.
Main results from the statistical tests (MR ¼ Mean Rank, KW ¼ Kruskal- Wallis-test, JT ¼ Jonckheere-Terpstra-test) to analyze differences in policy values between the four groups with different OSU sizes
As urbanization progresses, open space becomes structured as units of progressively smaller sizes and with more pronounced physical and functional boundaries. This paper analyzes these Open Space Units (OSUs) in Flanders, and seeks how size of open space units, hence also spatial fragmentation, affects the evaluation of these units. The results clearly confirm a ‘fragmentation bias’, meaning a lower valuation of smaller units, which leads to a strategic gap and land use uncertainty concerning large stretches of area with high degree of fragmentation. This valuation is confronted with the contrasting and positive values expressed in a strategic open space project by local stakeholders about a typical peri-urban remnant open space unit. Overcoming the ‘fragmentation bias’ in open space valuation is a continuing challenge in planning and open space policies, especially in highly urbanized environments.
The choice of the grid as a support for urban form composition is a strategy that has been applied in many situations throughout the world. Similarly, the meanings assigned to these orthogonal urban plans have featured distinct and often conflicting positions. This article explores the creative use of the grid in almost 100 new towns in the last Brazilian coffee frontier in the early twentieth century, and also contributes to a discussion about its potential in urban design. By assuming infinite configurations, the grid plan is an example of human inventiveness sometimes neglected for economic reasons and prejudices.
The quality of contemporary residential development, and the associated design challenge for house builders, are important current policy issues in England. Until recently, better‐designed contemporary housing development was more frequently seen on smaller, more constrained urban or brownfield sites and more rarely on greenfield sites. Set against a significant shift in the prevailing planning regime during the 1990s (from greenfield development to an express policy emphasis on brownfield development), this paper attempts to explain this observation. Utilizing the concept of ‘opportunity space’, it develops a model of the role of design and the designer in the development process, which is then used to account for differences in the quality of development on greenfield and brownfield sites. It is suggested that the development of greenfield and brownfield sites displays significant contrasts and that, as a consequence, successful brownfield developers yield opportunity space in their business strategies to designers.
Temporary urbanism is attracting worldwide attention and has been praised for its capacity to transform socio-political and physical spaces, while at the same time it has been criticized for its tacit instrumentality as vehicle for the progressive gentrification of the urban environment. A closer look at temporary urbanism reveals a myriad of practices, initiated by a great variety of actors with diverse ways of operating and taking place in a wide range of environments. Rooted in assemblage theory, we situate our design practice in the specificity of an underused space surrounding social housing blocks in Gateshead, explore manifestations of habitus and the capacity of temporary urbanism to reveal and engage with socio-spatial struggles.
The 1991 competition-winning scheme by Carr, Lynch, Hack and Sandell. The scheme addressed the disconnection between the city and river by excavating a significant portion of Langley Park to create a 'creek' at the edge of the city. As per Lynch's urban theory, the scheme retained the clearly defined edge condition between the urban form of Perth's central business district (CBD) and the landscape of the foreshore. Courtesy: City of Perth.
Community preferences as to the potential development of Perth's foreshore. The bars at the bottom of each image relate to: 1, like a lot; 2, like; 3, don't mind one way or the other or cannot decide; 4, dislike; and 5, dislike strongly (Western Australian Government 1991). Courtesy: City of Perth. 
ARM's Circle Scheme. The Indigenous cultural centre was located to the left of the 'River Circle' inlet. Opposite is the tall tower that provoked comparisons with Dubai. Courtesy: ARM. 
ARM's Rectangle Scheme with the significant public spaces of 'New Riverside drive' and 'The Landing' flanking the northern (top) edge of the inlet. The design team also addressed the perceived graphic excesses that had proven costly for the previous proposal. Gone were the sultry evening images of the 'Dubai on the Swan' scheme, replaced with perpetually sunny renders that show an uncharacteristically blue Swan River and 'ghosted' buildings that cast little or no shadows. Courtesy: ARM. 
Twenty-one years have elapsed between an international design competition held for the redesign of Perth's Swan River foreshore and the commencement of construction of a small, but significant, section of the this river's edge. This extended period of design proposition allows an opportunity to reflect on trends in waterfront design in Perth, and shifting notions of what Perth is, and could be, as expressed by the proposals. Trends identified include a growing appreciation of urban values, increasing aspirations to produce symbolic capital, increasing production of stylized urban imagery and the corresponding dominance of the architectural discipline. Perth's foreshore has been until recently a vast expanse of typically unoccupied, turfed parkland. Analogous to a scaled-up suburban ‘front yard’, its role has been typically symbolic rather than functional. As such, schemes for the redesign of this foreshore, and subsequent public reactions, also tend to reveal aspects of Perth's collective identity. While the 1991 competition-winning scheme recreated a naturalistic landscape on the foreshore, later state government-endorsed schemes in 2008 and 2011 proposed the urbanization of the foreshore at significant densities. These recent schemes reflect, and have forged, a growing desire for urbanity in Perth.
Half of the world’s inhabitants now live in cities. In the next twenty years, the number of urban dwellers will swell to an estimated five billion people. With their inefficient transportation systems and poorly designed buildings, many cities—especially in the United States—consume enormous quantities of fossil fuels and emit high levels of greenhouse gases. But our planet is rapidly running out of the carbon-based fuels that have powered urban growth for centuries and we seem to be unable to curb our greenhouse gas emissions. Are the world’s cities headed for inevitable collapse? The authors of this spirited book don’t believe that oblivion is necessarily the destiny of urban areas. Instead, they believe that intelligent planning and visionary leadership can help cities meet the impending crises, and look to existing initiatives in cities around the world. Rather than responding with fear (as a legion of doomsaying prognosticators have done), they choose hope. First, they confront the problems, describing where we stand today in our use of oil and our contribution to climate change. They then present four possible outcomes for cities: ”collapse,” “ruralized,” “divided,” and “resilient.” In response to their scenarios, they articulate how a new “sustainable urbanism” could replace today’s “carbon-consuming urbanism.” They address in detail how new transportation systems and buildings can be feasibly developed to replace our present low efficiency systems. In conclusion, they offer ten “strategic steps” that any city can take toward greater sustainability and resilience. This is not a book filled with “blue sky” theory (although blue skies will be a welcome result of its recommendations). Rather, it is packed with practical ideas, some of which are already working in cities today. It frankly admits that our cities have problems that will worsen if they are not addressed, but it suggests that these problems are solvable. And the time to begin solving them is now.
Air environments: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (the Netherlands). 
Public transport environments: Utrecht Central Station (the Netherlands). 
Car environments: service area on the A27 motorway (near Houten, the Netherlands). 
Pedestrian/bicycle environments: Leidseplein in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). 
The lives of people and the workings of organizations are increasingly independent of urban physical and administrative boundaries. Cities are developing into extensive webs of interaction, supported by fast transport and real-time communication networks. Urban planners and designers must come to terms with this evolution, as we are traditionally more used to dealing with zones rather than flows, with proximity rather than accessibility. Recognition of the increasingly borderless nature of the contemporary city does not mean that we should abandon the planning and design of physical urban places altogether. Physical places still fulfil an essential role in our open urban systems. In particular, places where mobility flows interconnect—such as air- ports, railway stations, and also motorway service areas or urban squares and parks— have the potential for granting the diversity and frequency of human contacts that are still essential for many urban activities. It is proposed to call such places 'mobility environments'. Their quality depends on the features of each location, but also on the characteristics of their visitors. These ideas are elaborated on, and it is shown how the 'mobility environments' concept can help better articulate planning and design strategies that try to cope with the reality of an increasingly borderless urban system, and particularly those following the 'network city' concept, as presently being introduced in the Netherlands.
Practitioners need evaluations of why the intentions in plans fail in implementation. This paper seeks to identify and explain how the plans for neighbourhood layout in Milton Keynes so comprehensively failed in the process of realization. The 1970 plan should have generated dense development along urban main streets, lined with shops, services, bus stops and turnings. In the city as built, densities are lowest along the main roads; shops, services and bus stops are ensconced within residential and other blocks where they work badly; traffic is much faster; buses struggle to operate viably; and social mix objectives have probably been sacrificed. This failure is attributed to the Corporation's mistakes in traffic planning, to short-sighted private housebuilders, to rigid and unscientific DoE density controls and to slack thinking, drafting and drawing by the initial planning team, of which the author was a member. Suggestions are made for avoiding such disasters
Does design influence social interaction in cohousing? How crucial is it? What other factors are involved? Can the impact of design be enhanced by the personal characteristics of residents or the formal social structures operating in a cohousing community? How can we design communities to increase social interaction in the future? Cohousing provides a useful case study because it uses design and formal social structures to encourage social interaction in neighbourhoods. In addition, informal social factors and personal characteristics of those living in cohousing communities predispose them to social interaction. Thus, cohousing is a housing form with optimal conditions for social interaction. Cohousing also provides a unique opportunity to study these variables in one setting to determine the relative importance of each and how social and personal factors may help to enhance the outcomes of design.
The Olympic Games (OG) are an opportunity for cities to display themselves on the world stage. Cities from developed and developing countries present themselves to hold the Games, always with a double intention: to promote itself in the global arena and use this opportunity to stimulate urban changes. However, there are very few studies that analyze the urban legacy of the OG for the host cities, probably because it takes years for an urban legacy to become established, and when the time is right to analyze this legacy other OG are on the agenda. The aim of this paper is to analyze the urban legacy left by the 2000 OG in Sydney. Sydney has been chosen for this analysis because, as there have been no other major development projects for the Homebush Bay region since the 2000 OG, the impact of the Games can be measured, specifically regarding physical transformations, discussing what their real urban legacy is.
This paper develops and discusses some 12 principles for best practice design review internationally. It seeks to embed these principles in plan making, design policy and guideline formulation and development control in planning systems at various stages of development. The principles are derived from critiques of review practices in the USA and Western Europe in both regulatory and discretionary planning systems. The principles are grouped under four headings: community vision, integration of planning and zoning, substantive urban design principles and due process in review. Each principle is discussed separately with examples of best practice and identification of common problems and solutions. Particular attention is paid to the incorporation of sustainable development perspectives, and the need to construct substantive and place-responsive design principles and forms. A conclusion discusses the ambition of these principles, their implementation in difficult economic and political contexts, and the tensions between design and diversity.
Current projects to upgrade public spaces in Western cities seek to produce secured space by improving safety and decrease feelings of fear, and to produce themed space by promoting urban entertainment or fantasy. This study examines how ‘fear’ and ‘fantasy’ influence urban design and management of two public spaces in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It traces social antecedents for the development of secured and themed public space, such as a growing differentiation of urban lifestyles, and proposes a new technique for analysing public spaces. The case studies differ in design and management: one is secured, the other themed. However, each secured space contains an element of ‘fantasy’, and each themed space an element of ‘fear’.
This paper sets the elevated pedestrian systems of Hong Kong in the context of planning regulation and land finance. Pedestrian networks have enhanced the internal circulation of major catchment areas around activity centres and transportation interchanges. They have become an administratively and economically successful model in the absence of a democratic urban design process. By tracking the evolving concept of the grade-separated pedestrian networks in Hong Kong, the paper examines the evolution and institutionalization of such a spatial system. It argues that quantitative terms in urban design control cannot tackle environment quality as a complicated human experience and cultural phenomenon. The discussion further raises a concern about increasing public facilities manipulated by private enterprises and the city government as an active mediator in distributing spatial resources.
New Urbanism has generally been seen as a North American phenomenon with a relatively minor impact and profile in other countries. While there may be a number of reasons for this, this paper explores how the intended or desired 'product' of the New Urbanism differs from the intended product of a new generation of English residential design guidance. It does this by comparing recent guidance for residential design in England contained in a number of documents with the principles set out in the Charter of the New Urbanism. Identifying and assessing points of convergence and divergence, it seeks to assess whether convergence represents universally applicable principles of 'good' residential design and to explain and account for any significant divergence.
Spatial quality is a central tenet and, at the same time, a highly contentious issue in the urban design and planning field. This is the case for practitioners, academics and researchers alike. Underpinning the canonical texts and even some major recent contributions in defining the theoretical foundations of the field, is a broad consensus on the importance of spatial quality as a normative quest that runs through the theories, principles and methods of the field. Yet, different users, professional and research communities tend to have very different views on what makes a particular organization of space ‘qualitative’ or not. A universal understanding of the concept ‘spatial quality’ does not exist, except as shorthand for either the intention to invest some ‘extra’ (talent, care, aesthetics, money, etc.), or to stress a ‘normative’ attitude and endeavour. Yet when addressing spatial quality within theoretical elaborations or professional operations, different spatial quality preferences cannot just be ‘added up’ when mobilizing this notion. In the study of spatial quality, therefore, it is important to give the concept a relational and integrative character, with a diversity of spatial quality dimensions and enhancing practices cohering into it. While mobilizing the integrative potential of spatial quality for urban design and planning through a relational understanding—linking ‘quality’ to uses and users within a multi-dimensional context—the aim of this themed issue is to lay out in a coherent way the theoretical foundations of the field..........
Fluviale, the outside. Source: All images are DPU summerLab 2012. 
Fluviale, the courtyard. 
Fluviale, the open gate on the final day of the workshop. 
Fluviale, frames from the stop-motion movie on the history of the courtyard. 
Fluviale, a moment from the workshop: discussing possibilities with the inhabitants. 
Adopting an impure and contingent conception of urban design as a biopolitical apparatus, along the theme of urban informal squatter-occupied spatialities, this paper searches for an alternative narrative of urban design. It presents a theoretical and analytical framework developed around Michel Foucault's and Giorgio Agamben's spatial ontology and political aesthetics as an aggregate source toward recalibrating the approach to urban design research, pedagogy and practice, integrating the debate around the dispositif and its profanation. Critically engaging with the complexity and contradictions of the current neoliberal urban design practice—articulated as a complex urban apparatus instrumental to regimes of security and control—the paper explores the conceptual tool of profanation as a potential antidote to the sacred production of the neoliberal city. The act of profaning the urban realm, of ‘returning it to the free use of men’, is approached through the lens of a design research initiative in a squatter-occupied space in Rome, Italy. The narrative that emerges from this theoretically inspired action research points to an alternative practice that can be read as a site of resistance in reclaiming the intellectual productivity of urban design theory and research.
Urban design often involves relating ‘parts’ (e.g. individual actions, buildings or building designs) to a larger ‘whole’ (i.e. urban form and urban place). By relating and mediating ‘urban space design’ and ‘architectural/building design', masterplans are a means to do this. The recent emergence of an explicit urban design policy agenda in the UK has restored masterplans to a position of prominence, with recent years having seen significant increase in their use in urban development and regeneration. Exploring the ‘mechanics’ of masterplans, this paper focuses on the relationship between process and outcome and seeks to open up what might otherwise be treated as a ‘black box’. To ground the discussion, the paper evaluates two illustrative examples of contemporary masterplanning: Crown Street and Queen Elizabeth Square, each located in Glasgow's Gorbals.
The value added by better urban design has for some time been contested. Nevertheless, the benefits of identifying a linkage between better urban design and enhanced economic value, as well as social and environmental value, are potentially significant. This article reports on one part of a recent research study that attempted to explore this linkage. It examines a review of stakeholder views on value and urban design on the basis of six case studies of varying urban design quality. The research method and case studies are briefly outlined, before the detailed views of key stakeholders--investors, developers, designers, occupiers, local authorities and everyday users--are presented and conclusions drawn. A key finding is that the benefits of better urban design are increasingly acknowledged across all key stakeholder groups, albeit in different ways and forms.
Places are temporal milieus, and the tempo of a place is inherently rhythmical. In an urban place, the patterns of people's movements, encounters, and rest, recurrently negotiating with natural cycles and architectural patterns, merge into expressive bundles of rhythms which give a place its temporal distinctiveness. This paper investigates the aesthetics of place-temporality, focusing on its expression and representation; it explores its principal attributes, experience, and significance. And, building on an analogy with musical aesthetics, the paper brings forward a conceptual framework for the understanding and analysis of temporality in urban space, with a focus on place-rhythms and the triad of place-temporal performance, place-tonality, and sense of time. These are the principal aesthetic processes through which place-temporality expresses and represents itself in urban space.
‘Green infrastructure’ is a term used to describe systems of parks, greenways, open spaces and other natural landscape elements that provide community benefits. Although we have some understanding of how people use parks and developed greenways, little has been documented about use of the undesignated public and private spaces along green infrastructure features such as stream corridors. The purpose of this research was to examine characteristics that may influence people's use of undesignated open spaces along the stream corridors that form the skeleton of many green infrastructure systems. Data were obtained from a Recreational Use Attainability Analysis (RUAA), an evaluation performed for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The RUAA was conducted for 85 survey sites along 243 km (151 miles) of streams in Houston's Buffalo Bayou watershed. Results indicate that the proximity of stream corridors to local residents, the level of pedestrian access available and tree cover were the best predictors of recreational use while the presence of water, fish or other wildlife were not significant predictors. Observations also indicated that urban and suburban stream corridors afford a variety of recreational and aesthetic values to residents. Implications for policy, planning and design of green infrastructure are discussed.
This paper argues that the ideas of self, waste and space are interconnected and that they influence each other in a society's everyday life. It addresses the issues of belonging and identity to explain how the connection among self, waste and space could determine waste disposal practice. A study in a low-income urban neighbourhood in Jakarta, Indonesia, illustrates how the waste disposal practice in everyday life could be understood in terms of how they are connected to the actors and to the space. The connection among self, waste and space is illustrated through various waste disposal practices in spaces with various degrees of ownership. Waste disposal practices in shared spaces are particularly problematic since these practices occur in the spaces with unclear ownership and unclear boundaries. The findings suggest the need to take into account the understanding of ownership towards waste (‘whose waste?’) as a key aspect in comprehending waste disposal practice in the urban context.
This paper explores the pedestrian streets in Thailand and the idea of the street as public space in Southeast Asia. Based on pilot studies in 15 pedestrian streets and detailed fieldwork in four case studies in Thailand, this paper reveals an informal manner of street use for socio-economic functions and the multivariate roles of the street in Southeast Asian cities. Providing a comparative worldview about the street as public space, this paper expands the scope of public space studies and contributes to the understanding of street markets and street use as public space in Southeast Asia, a topic that is rarely discussed in the world’s urban design agenda.
In 2008, the City of Mission Viejo enlisted residents to photograph places and events that best illustrated the city's place identity. Inspired by the notion that pictures act as simulacra of reality, the research team content-analyzed them for evidence of the city's place identity: its social imageability, its emotional values, its imageability and satisfaction. The bond between residents and their neighborhood places is key to the creation of stronger, more democratic and sustainable communities, and decisions made during their planning stage become critical in shaping the future of a community. ‘My Mission Viejo’ illustrates how planning and design affected the community's place identity, people's attachment and its livelihood. The project offers a methodological precedent for future research aimed at creating more sustainable and imageable communities.
Rundown neighbourhoods and social housing estates may not be visible to the majority of the population but they have an impact on society as a whole and not just those who live in them. This paper explains the concepts, processes and methods applied in the transformational change of public and communal open spaces in EC1, south Islington in London, and highlights the benefits of the change to their everyday users. The paper brings together a body of urban design theories and urban design collaborative approaches on open space transformational change.
Public space upgrade at Cantinho do Céu, São Paulo, designed by Marcos Boldarini, 2011.
Public space design for Paraisó polis, São Paulo, designed by MMBB, 2010.
Community building at Aglomerado da Serra, Belo Horizonte, designed by Fernando Maculan et al. 2010.
Community building at Aglomerado da Serra, Belo Horizonte, designed by Carlos Teixeira et al. 2010.
This paper looks at three different Brazilian cities: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte to understand the different models of favela upgrade, the opportunities and the challenges that each model entails. The recent ‘left-turn’ on Latin American politics created several opportunities for architects to help improve the informal sector that comprises a significant portion of every major city in the continent. In Brazil, the Lula government invested billions in the infrastructure upgrade of the infamous favelas. This paper will argue that the two traditional contractual models, the construction bidding (by metrics and values) and the commission by ‘reputation’ (opaque political process of choice), are not sufficient. A third model based on popular participation was tested in the early 2000s but it was gradually marginalized as the country speeded up investment in preparation for the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016.
How do cities transform over time? And why do some cities change for the better while others deteriorate? In articulating new ways of viewing urban areas and how they develop over time, Peter Bosselmann offers a stimulating guidebook for students and professionals engaged in urban design, planning, and architecture. By looking through Bosselmann’s eyes (aided by his analysis of numerous color photos and illustrations) readers will learn to “see” cities anew. Bosselmann organizes the book around seven “activities”: comparing, observing, transforming, measuring, defining, modeling, and interpreting. He introduces readers to his way of seeing by comparing satellite-produced “maps” of the world’s twenty largest cities. With Bosselmann’s guidance, we begin to understand the key elements of urban design. Using Copenhagen, Denmark, as an example, he teaches us to observe without prejudice or bias. He demonstrates how cities transform by introducing the idea of “urban morphology” through an examination of more than a century of transformations in downtown Oakland, California. We learn how to measure quality-of-life parameters that are often considered immeasurable, including “vitality,” “livability,” and “belonging.” Utilizing the street grids of San Francisco as examples, Bosselmann explains how to define urban spaces. Modeling, he reveals, is not so much about creating models as it is about bringing others into public, democratic discussions. Finally, we find out how to interpret essential aspects of “life and place” by evaluating aerial images of the San Francisco Bay Area taken in 1962 and those taken forty-three years later. Bosselmann has a unique understanding of cities and how they “work.” His hope is that, with the fresh vision he offers, readers will be empowered to offer inventive new solutions to familiar urban problems.
Development Parcels at Newhall Phase One 
The potential complexity of multi-developer projects. On the left hand side of this diagram, the same developer takes responsibility for all the phrases of a large development. In the middle, each phase becomes the responsibility of a different developer, who work in series to build out the site. On the right hand side of the diagram, each phase in split up into several parcels, with each being the responsibility of a different developer. Some developers secure parcels in more than one phase. This produces a richer and more diverse urban form, but the benefits of this approach have to be balanced against increased complexity and transaction costs.  
Four approaches to land parcelization.  
Parcel Map, Newhall 
Parcel B, Newhall: Abode
This paper examines the meaning and significance of place diversity and explores how its achievement may well depend on specific institutional relations between different actors in the real estate development process. It calls for master developers to engage in the ‘smart parcelization’ of large development sites through design-sensitive subdivision, reflected in conditions attached to plot sales or leases. By looking at practical examples, it explores how this concept could refashion speculative housebuilding in the UK. The paper highlights the potential and limitations of ‘smart parcelization’, while emphasizing the need to link development and design considerations in future policy and research agendas.
This paper aims to provide a holistic understanding of the urban design plans for downtown San Francisco, in particular, of their pioneering roles in urban design history. There is a critical discourse analysis of two urban design plans – the Urban Design Plan 1972 and the Downtown Plan 1985. A Kuhnian framework of ‘paradigm’ is applied to evaluating the innovative practices of the plans. It is argued that the innovations, reflected in the urban design plans for downtown San Francisco, represent a paradigm shift in urban design history.
This paper examines the form and activity transformations in a built-up urban area, following the development of a pedestrian facility. The particular implementation of the Central to Mid-levels Escalator (1993) facilitated the re-use of street- and upper-floor space, while also attracting real estate investments. The low-impact insertion of the pedestrian facilities supported a distinctive spatial setting on a steep slope, where new leisure and entertainment venues clustered, assuming their own local and collective identities. A close connection between the facility and the streets supported development beneath and on adjacent streets where there had been few shops and restaurants. Recent developments exploit the resulting unique spatial relationships between Escalator and environment to augment the space available for circulation or public gathering, connecting the new space directly to the movement system. This case provides a working example of how to implement a facility for pedestrian movement to generate a transformation in the built form and in the activity structure of a substantial urban area. The lessons of the Escalator project could assist in the design of other facilities for pedestrian movement in built-up urban areas.
This paper presents lessons emerging from an initial attempt to introduce home zones within the UK. The home zone concept is defined and discussed, and the recent political interest in home zones is explained. Following this, research into the experience of trying to plan and implement 14 pilot projects is presented. The paper concludes by discussing the lessons which have been learnt from this experience, with a view to informing future practices. The lessons relate to both the home zone planning process and approaches to home zone design.
This paper explores the measurement issues that arise in conducting smart growth research. Such research is largely dependent on the quantitative measurement of urban and suburban phenomena, but this measurement varies widely. Data sources, geographic scales, aggregation rules, and spatial resolution can all vary, and all have a significant effect on research outcomes. The paper presents an overview of the issues involved in urban measurement, exploring three interrelated aspects of urban study-the measurement, evaluation, and representation of urban form. The paper presents a framework of the conceptual differences and practical implications. This serves as background to a call for new measurement approaches that would more appropriately reflect the material aspects of cities.
Well-being is related not only to physical health but also to many other factors about our living environments. Most of these factors change during our lifespan. Although most research about general well-being and age discuss that our level of well-being does not change significantly during our lifespan, we cannot neglect the changes in our physical and mental relation to space with ageing. This study aims to explore the relationship between subjective well-being, age, culture and living environments through case studies conducted in two different cultural contexts, Italy and Turkey.
Top-cited authors
Susan Handy
  • University of California, Davis
Reid Ewing
  • University of Utah
Ali Madanipour
  • Newcastle University
Aspa Gospodini
  • University of Thessaly
Ann Forsyth
  • Harvard University