Blog Archives

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

Edward Hutchison watercolours

Following his brilliant book on Drawing for Landscape Architecture: Sketch to Screen to Site, Edward Hutchison has opened an even more dazzling exhibition of watercolour painting – at Bankside Gallery 48 Hopton Street London SE1 9JH, by Tate Modern Exhibition 4th –

Posted in skyline policy, urban design

Desire lines are a key principle in landscape architecture

‘Desire line’ is one of landscape architecture’s most useful concepts. Less romantically, Wikipedia calls it a ‘desire path’ and explains the idea as ‘ the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination’. OK, but as everyone

Posted in urban design

The brilliant landscape architecture of Edinburgh New Town

Was Edinburgh’s new town planned by a landscape architect? Yes.  One could argue that the term ‘landscape architect’ was not invented until 1828 and could not apply to a competition design submitted in 1766.  But the term ‘architect’ did not

Posted in landscape architecture, landscape urbanism, urban design

The landscape architecture of healthy cities

Great to hear a landscape architect speaking about health, urban design, ecology and new towns. Graham Marshall sees essential connections between people & places are bonded mental health & physical health are inter-dependent He rightly criticises James Stirling’s now-demolished Southgate Estate

Posted in landscape architecture, urban design

The attrition of vehicles by cities is good for cyclists and pedestrians

With surpassing brilliance Jane Jacobs advocated ‘the attrition of automobiles’ in cities ‘by making conditions less convenient for cars’. I write this as a London car driver (and cyclist).

Posted in cycleways, urban design

Public Open Space parks, squares, landscape character assessment

PPS.org has identified 10 Principles for Successful Squares. Though sensible they remind me of 10 Qualities That Make Him A Perfect Husband  or ten qualities to make a Good Wife ‘smart, wise, beautiful, compassionate, funny, hard-working, aesthetically inspired, spiritual, passionately desirous‘.  The

Posted in urban design, urban squares

Prof Richard Sennett attacks a basic principle of landscape architecture

‘Consult the Genius of the Place’, now expressed as ‘design with sensitivity to context’ is the Single Agreed Law of landscape design. It embodies the conviction that we should, as NT Newton put it in the title of a book on the history

Posted in skyline policy, urban design Tagged with: ,

Assessment of public open space POS squares piazzas parks SUPOS

Public open space needs to be assessed as a routine aspect of its planning, design and management. But how should it be done? This was the question Dr Ying Li took for her PhD research at the University of Greenwich

Posted in landscape architecture, urban design, urban squares

Air pollution in London – how to solve the problem

King’s College London Air website has made a great contribution to surveying and analysing London’s air pollution problems but hangs up its gloves when faced with the question: CAN ANYTHING BE DONE ABOUT THIS? King’s say ‘a long term problem that has

Posted in urban design

For want of a landscape architect London’s Garden Bridge was lost

For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, For the want of a shoe the horse was lost, For the want of a horse the rider was lost, For the want of a rider the battle was lost,

Posted in urban design