Urban design is about creating a vision for an area and then deploying the skills and resources to realise the vision. This is what we refer to as 'Place Creation'. This section proposes a method to create places with identity and meaning.
Image: Design Workshop - KGUV (Deicke Richards). From R-L John Simpson, Peter Richards, Louise Noble, Ken Maher.
Because urban designers understand the complexity of the urban environment, and appreciate that their proposals will influence the users of the city for a long time, they realise that there is no one or right solution.
“Urban design is about creating a vision for an area and then deploying the skills and resources to realise the vision”. (Llewelyn-Davies, 2000, p. 12)
Therefore, a transparent process which develops a vision, collects information, generates ideas and develops and evaluates a proposition for place can provide assurance for placemaking. It also acknowledges the process of constructing the proposal and ongoing management of the place. We have built upon the three stages proposed by EPRA to categorise the process of place creation.
The process of place creation
1. Place Aspiration: grow the project from an endorsed vision.
2. Place Context: investigate the context to establish authenticity and sustainability.
3. Place Design: plan and design the place to deliver on the vision and the context.
4. Place Delivery: construct the hard infrastructure and deliver the soft.
5. Place Manage: invest in the soft infrastructure, review and maintain.
But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security – there is no one or right solution.
The aspiration is important, but often neglected, stage of place creation. It is critical in establishing the all important character discussed in place qualities.
Traditionally, clients have requested the design team takes the lead on the first three stages. We believe that better outcome will be delivered when an informed client (with the help of other consultants) completes the place creation and place context stages prior to engaging the design team. This not only improves client and stakeholder ownership, it enables the design team to fine tune their proposal.