Blog Archives

Posts on Urban Design (+ see introduction to urban design)

Landscape architecture CPD: nature in urban public open spaces

Beyond Green: Rethinking Nature in Urban Public Spaces Is the idea of nature relevant to public open space in urban areas? Yes. Should landscape architects be involved? Yes. But what, why, how and where can and should nature influence the

Posted in landscape architecture, public parks, urban design, urban squares

Invest 20% of the transport budget to raise the cycling mode share by 2.5%/year

The bicycle began as the ultimate dream machine, cheaper, healthier, more exciting and more glamorous, than horse-drawn vehicles or horses. In the 1940s, almost half the trips in London and Copenhagen were cycled. And the figure was over was over

Posted in cycleways, urban design

Landscape and garden weddings

Landscape architects, who pay increasing attention to programming the events which take place in the spaces they plan and design, could give more thought to weddings and wedding photography. Every couple likes to have brilliant photographs of their wedding and

Posted in garden design, landscape architecture, urban design

Green the Redways: Copenhagenize the TfL Transport for London Road Network TLRN

    TfL should Copenhagenize London’s the TLRN (Transport for London Road Network. Copenhagenization means confiscating the warships of a defeated enemy, which is what the British did in 1807. Mikael Colville-Andersen uses ‘Copenhagenize’ to mean good cycle planning. I’ve been

Posted in cycleways, London cycle network, urban design

Little Free Libraries for urban landscapes

Little Free Libraries are a great idea.  Landscape architects should include them in designs for public open spaces including parks, squares, piazzas etc. Universities should have several on every campus for textbooks as well as leisure reading. In 2010 I

Posted in landscape architecture, public parks, school grounds, urban design

Michael Brown and the landscape architecture of housing

Many thanks to Colin Moore for remembering Michael Brown’s work in a Merl blog post. Michael Brown’s office (in which Colin worked) produced the best UK housing landscape designs of the 1960s and 70s.  The outdoor space was very well

Posted in bad architecture & planning, landscape architecture, urban design, urban squares

The Yorkshire trod is a great way to make a footpath

The OED defines a trod as ‘A trodden way; a footpath, path, way. (dialect)’.   Phillips New World of Words (1678) explained Trode as ‘an old word signifying a path’. It slipped out of general use but survives in some parts

Posted in greenways, landscape architecture, urban design

Should wearing cycle helmets be compulsory? No.

No. The below diagram from Copenhagenize illustrates the balance of expert opinion. A cycle helmet will save your life in a relatively low proportion of cycle accidents. So I wear one, except when the weather is too hot. When they

Posted in cycleways, urban design

Parliament Square in Westminster should be re-designed

The public open space outside the Mother of Parliaments should be re-designed as a place for MPs to talk to constituents and demonstrators. It was filled with protesters on 15th January 2019. This was the day on which the first

Posted in landscape architecture, urban design

London Cycle Action Plan TfL: a review

The Guardian is too kind when it says the London Cycle Action Plan is ‘bold but has a major flaw’. It has many major flaws. But before looking at them let’s note the document’s good points: It acknowledges that London’s

Posted in cycleways, London cycle network, urban design