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Design – develop a spatial strategy

The design phase is based on one or more intensive workshops that are guided by expert facilitators.

Hertfordshire guide to growth

Hertfordshire guide to growth.
© The University of Hertfordshire

The people participating develop the vision into a more detailed ‘story of change’ that includes strategic themes and priority projects. The identification of issues and areas of investigation and design into strategic themes is an important characteristic of the process. It identifies the critical issues and projects that need to be addressed at cross-boundary level.

They create in parallel a number of spatial options or scenarios for implementing the themes and projects and test these by simulating what the impact would be. The options, together with the results of the testing, are often put out to wider community consultation. Once feedback has been analysed, an option is taken forward and refined, including more detailed design briefs or proposals for specific sites.

The key output of this phase is a spatial strategy, which summarises the story of change for the area, preferred themes, projects and the spatial option for their implementation. It is published widely in the area in formats that are easy to understand, to assist public buy in.

Those participating then prepare and publish a design guide to underpin the implementation of more detailed proposals: the success of the urban design process will be judged by the quality of the buildings, spaces and places that are developed.

A step-by-step guide to the design phase

  1. Developing the strategy
  2. Testing the options
  3. Preparing a design guide
  4. Finalising the spatial strategy

A good example of the design phase

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