Improve your well-being through biophilic design

It’s not a coincidence that we fill our homes with potted plants, blush every time we receive flowers or enjoy strolling through botanical gardens. Edward O Wilson argued that humans evolved alongside the natural world and therefore have an innate affiliation with it [1], this core principle will form the basis for my design thesis….
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Building for life: Smiths Dock, North Shields

The building for life tool is a very useful tool to establish the sustainability of neighbourhood design, by breaking down places by 12 different design principles, we can establish what works and what doesn’t and find out what makes for good place design and what makes for bad design. The marking system of this follows…
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Amsterdam if you do. Damned if you don’t.

My favorite city now by some margin is Amsterdam, it’s a beautiful place, full of beautiful people and has looked after the planet via cycling more than any other city in Europe. It really is amazing that Amsterdam has most of its city on bikes, meanwhile here in Newcastle we had a cycle rental scheme for…
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Generation Retrofit: Fabric, Function and Finance

Is demolition within our cities inevitable? How do we choose what is retained and what is removed? What from our existing building fabric is worthy of conserving as we make way for the new? These questions were highlighted during John Sparkes’ lecture on the regeneration of Sunderland and the ongoing issues with re-planning cities in…
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It’s Time to Reinvent the Eco-Village!

In a lecture presented by IDPartnership, the first slide outlined their company aim, which read: ‘creating sustainable places that enrich the lives of inhabitants and inspire people to live in an environmentally responsible manner.’ [1] I then wondered what extremity we can reach to design sustainable places. In my research I found a type of…
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Wasteland To Dreamland: Regenerating Urban Environments

A majority of planners and designers fantasize and dream of making the world a better place, many of us, myself included. Use this as the reason why we do what we do, with money and sometimes fame being an afterthought. Albeit a very welcome one. But how can we achieve making spaces better in the…
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British Developers should Cough Up CAC

While our public space suffers funding cuts, two top examples show us how they design ‘liveability’ After the recent UK election result, a bleak future for British cities and towns has dawned on many Urban Designers, Architects and Landscape Urbanists. For the past 9 years – and now the subsequent five – Britain shall continue…
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No Cars Needed in Freiburg – What about UK cities?

Taking influence from one of the oldest eco-districts GWL-Terrien, Vauban District, Freiburg is arguably one of the world’s best examples of sustainable urban living. The fascinating thing is that the district was completed in 2000 – two decades ago! However, we don’t see any districts to this sustainable standard in the UK to this day….
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Public Bike Schemes do not work…?

Many of today’ sustainable cities have implemented policies and ways to include sustainable transport, especially diverse modes for the everyday person as mentioned in Alan Wann’s lecture. Cities such as Munich and Copenhagen have refocused from a transport association to a mobility association, taking in new ways of mobility including park and ride, bike and…
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Get on your bike: Reintroducing sustainable transport.

A substantial 15% of the pollutants contributing to climate change come from the exhaust fumes from automotive vehicles. Whilst the advancement of electric car technology will reduce these emissions, this will only help in the global sense if the electricity is itself produced by sustainable methods. It is therefore vital that we encourage the sustainable…
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