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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Domino Effect: From Run-down to Social Town

What attracts you to a space?   In her recent lecture “Measuring Pubic Space: The Star Model” by Dr Georgiana Varna, she talked about the five dimensions of publicness (through the star model) and how to measure the publicness of public spaces.[1] The aspect that intrigued me was when she discussed Jan Gehl’s measurements for…
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Improved Urban Form: A Collective Goal?

Who actually  designs our urban environment?   After attending a recent lecture “Place Making in the Garden Village Tradition” by Mark Massey from IDPartnership, it forced me to begin to wonder, who actually designs our urban environment? Particularly with regards to housing developments, I’m interested in deciphering where the voice and the power comes from…
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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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Staiths South Bank, Gateshead – What Would Erskine Say?

Whilst urban design remains a broad, multi-disciplinary practice, there are several elements that urban design must consider when trying to create better places for people. These include aspects such as sustainability, aesthetics, functionality, diversity and flexibility. Such components are particularly relevant and necessary in residential developments in which, theoretically, people should be at the fundamental…
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