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Urban Design Compendium

Closing the Circle

In planning and designing the built environment, we need to learn from completed schemes: the quality of the end product, how well it serves its users, and what legacy has been left for its governance and management. We need to be able to recognise good schemes, understand what works and what does not, and feed this back to our working practices. We can build on the successes of the past.

Good urban design can create places people will value for generations to come. They will meet the needs of those who live, work and spend time there. They will remain attractive through their use of high-quality materials and their good management.

To understand fully what has worked, we should talk to those who live and work there. They can highlight the benefits of the location, and any practical problems caused by design and management. Consideration should also be given to the qualitative impacts of good design, such as health and social well-being.

Good urban design can both learn from the past and look forward to the future. It depends on looking at places, understanding what has worked and how these places have interpreted urban design principles, and working together to apply those lessons. Only by learning from our successes and mistakes can we aim higher to create successful places.

We welcome your views on what has worked and what hasn’t – on both the case studies featured in this Compendium and those you are familiar with. Learning together can help us all to understand what we need to do to deliver quality places.


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