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Mr Alain J F Chiaradia

Address: Space Syntax, 4 Heaneage Street, E1 5LN

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Contact Number: 020 7422 7625

Mobile: 07736 958266

Fax: 020 7422 7601



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12 : i-VALUL
The Intangible Values of Layout

PhotoThe importance of urban layout for sustainable communities both for new development and retrofit is beyond question (PPS1, PPS3, PPS12, By Design, Safer places). In order to promote policies to bring about sustainable community practices and the social change necessary to adopt such measures we need knowledge to enable stakeholders to predict the response to policy implementation. However, many new developments in the Greater South East fail to meet the standards of high quality urban layout (CABE). What is the reason for this?

Whilst many aspects of design such as street widths, building heights or construction materials are directly measurable, others seem to be much less tangible. Urban layout, and especially its effects on social, cultural and economic aspects of community, is one such intangible asset, which are difficult to visualise and measure during the planning process.

To help overcome this problem, methods to quantify and measure the relational properties of urban layout within its context have been developed by researchers at UCL and other institutions, and used successfully within the new Local Development Framework (LDF) processes. However, currently only a handful of Local Authorities and Regional Development Agencies make use of these methods during the planning process. Here we propose to reduce the barriers to the take up of these tools through a collaborative process involving the leading stakeholder organisations.

The project aims to transfer knowledge about urban layout value to planning authorities on the local and regional level and all other parties involved in the generation of sustainable communities. To this end, the project will:

  • integrate knowledge about urban layout and its impact on the social, economic and environmental performance of a place
  • develop and provide access to a spatial accessibility map of the Greater South East that will provide the spatial context for assessing existing areas and for integrating new developments
  • develop a training programme for Local Authorities and other stakeholders that bridges the gap in understanding of how to value and assess the quality of urban layouts
  • disseminate the training programme and develop it further, with the ultimate aim of integrating it with existing academic and professional education

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