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Proceedings of the ICE - Urban Design and Planning

image of Proceedings of the ICE - Urban Design and Planning
ISSN: 1755-0793
E-ISSN: 1755-0807

Urban Design and Planning publishes refereed papers and short articles addressing the design and planning of the built environment, emphasizing the interfaces between urban policy, design, construction and management.

  • - Urban Design and Planning are publishing a themed issue in 2015 on 'South America'. Find out more here.

Topics covered by the journal include social, economic and environmental aspects of topics such as sustainable settlements, community regeneration, urban infrastructure and transport systems.

  • - It is free to submit to this journal. Papers appear Ahead of Print (below) as soon as they are ready to be published. Ahead of print articles are fully citable using the DOI system.



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  • Sustainable urban habitats: design intentions to practical implementation
    Author(s): Alan Keith Derbyshire
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  • The absence of a shared definition of the variable that is sustainability is a volatile element in the multi-factor equation known as ‘the urban landscape’. The sustainable infrastructure of our urbanised habitats is a fundamental matter for planners and architects, but this is often more of a theoretical concern than a practical application of innovative design implementation. The lack of a shared understanding of sustainable practices contributes to a reliance on conventional orthodoxies, and the ‘play it safe’ approach to the design of public spaces structurally and aesthetically. This study focuses on the methodological and creative threads that connect sustainable design concepts to their viable outcomes. The recent phenomenon of significant population growth within UK regional city centres has emphasised the demand for user-friendly ecologically enhanced public spaces. The synthesis of native species ecology and innovative utilisation of hard landscaping is a fundamental element in the establishment of the concepts of ownership and place. The successful employment of these concepts is debatable. The strands that link worthy sustainable architectural and planning design intentions to their seemingly logical conclusions are frayed, tangled and often severed. Through a selection of comparative case studies and examples of advanced initiatives this paper examines the causes of this entanglement and paradoxically also highlights the innovative capacity of reversing the existing ‘fixed mould of aesthetic convention’.
  • International urban design: theory and practice
    Author(s): J. Lang
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  • Urban design focuses on the development of unified goal-oriented development projects. They vary in scale from new towns to neighbourhoods to blocks of cities. Much of the significant work is now executed by a limited number of multi-national professional organisations on behalf of development companies that invest internationally and municipal authorities seeking an important place on the world stage. The schemes, wherever they are located, have a degree of homogeneity about them and pay little heed to local climatic conditions, ways of life and aesthetic values. They are international. In reaction there have been a number of neo-traditional schemes that draw heavily on past urban forms or design principles for inspiration. They do not, however, capture the imagination as much as the bold designs of globalisation. In addition, there has been a continuing call to work closely with local communities. All these approaches achieve much but have many opportunity costs associated with them. A neo-functional, ecological approach to design promises more. Can designers, however, implement such an approach?
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  • Housing and sustainability: demolition or refurbishment?
    Author(s):  A. Power
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  • The demolition or refurbishment of older housing has been an active policy area since the late 1880s in the UK, when the government first authorised the statutory demolition of unsanitary slums. The debate on demolition and new building has been intensified since 2003, with government proposals for large-scale clearance and new construction. This paper summarises the evidence and debate on whether demolition would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. It examines whether a more achievable and socially beneficial route to reducing energy use in the built environment exists, based on the fact that buildings account for half of the UK's carbon emissions. This paper argues that large-scale and accelerated demolition would neither help with meeting energy and climate change targets, nor would it address social needs. Refurbishment offers clear advantages in time, cost, community impact, prevention of building sprawl, reuse of existing infrastructure and protection of existing communities. It can also lead to significantly reduced energy use in buildings in both the short and long term.
  • Briefing: Peak car use – what does it mean for urban design and planning?
    Author(s):  Peter Newman
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  • The trends in urban car use are now demonstrating a new phenomenon where a peak has occurred and rapid declines are setting in. Some of the causes of peak car use are suggested, but more importantly the need for urban design and planning to change their practice is suggested. This should include: first, not increasing road capacity and using the road space freed up for sustainable transport improvements, especially walkability; second, planning for 50% reductions in cars with all the growth being electric vehicles; third, ensuring quality electric transit is the key facilitator of further urban growth and is tied into it through value capture; and fourth, facilitating green urban renewal as the main game in urban planning to achieve the polycentric city.
  • Planning for sustainable transport or for people's needs
    Author(s):  Clara Greed
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  • This paper reviews and critiques sustainability-driven spatial planning policy from the perspective of ordinary citizens as they seek to travel, live and work, and carry out their daily lives within the environmentally sustainable, green city. The original definition of sustainability contained social, economic and environmental components. This paper argues that there has been an over-emphasis in the UK upon the environmental aspects, at the expense of social considerations, especially gender considerations, creating a dissonance between the sustainability and social equality agendas to the detriment of achieving inclusive urban design. Policy examples from transportation and land-use planning indicate that sustainability-driven planning policy is working against the creation of inclusive, equitable and accessible cities with particular reference to the needs of women. Sustainability policy is set at too high a level to engage with the realities of everyday life. It is concluded that there is a need for a more user-related, social perspective to be integrated into sustainable planning policy.
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