Does design have any role in planning?
Good design is fundamental to good planning. It underpins planning at all levels, from the strategic thinking that is required at a sub-regional or city-wide level down to the detail of individual developments. At the strategic level, development plans have an important role to play in clearly expressing what is special about a place, and how that special character can be enhanced through well-designed new developments. They are also crucial documents for setting ambitious standards for mitigating and adapting to climate change through building design, landscape and transport strategies. At the site-specific level, the best new places derive from a creative dialogue about design between architect, developer, local community and local planning authority. A well-structured design review process can also help by providing an independent peer review at key stages in the design and planning process. The UK planning system is facing huge challenges arising from the housing crisis and from increasing social and economic inequalities. Architects and planners need to work together to face up to these challenges in a creative and positive manner.
Peter is an independent adviser on city planning and design based in Cambridge. From 2004-7, before he established his consultancy, Peter directed the sustainable communities and growth policies of Cambridge Horizons, and from 2007-11 he was Director of Joint Planning for Cambridge’s Growth Areas. He was the Director of Planning at Cambridge City Council from 1991-2004. He was one of Metropolitan Workshop’s advisors for the RIBA/Wates PRS Ideas Competition.
Peter Studdert, independent adviser on planning and design