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06. Is the design specific to the scheme?

The Old Haymarket development in Liverpool

“A thorough appreciation of the overall site context is the starting point for designing a distinct place” Urban Design Compendium 1 p19

The design of individual homes and entire neighbourhoods should be specific to the client’s brief and the context, based on an understanding of the way the local area looks and works. This is part of a strong design process.

Good design is about offering solutions that allow us to build and live more efficiently. It is not about style. A good design should make best use of the land, provide value and create successful places with character, variety and identity.

The overall look and feel of a new development should be considered in relation to neighbouring buildings and the local area more generally.

Watch our video explanation

If you can't see the video(s) go to www.buildingforlife.org/redirects/videos

The 20 Criteria

Environment & community
Character
Streets, parking & pedestrianisation
Design & construction
Does the development provide (or is it close to) community facilities, such as a school, parks, play areas, shops, pubs or cafes?

Further reading

  • Urban Design Compendium 2 (English Partnerships and Housing Corporation, 2007); p41, p65
  • Design review: how CABE evaluates quality in architecture and urban design (CABE, 2006); p10