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Deficiencies in urban design policy for suburban town centres in London: Is strategic design the answer?

Honey, J; (2006) Deficiencies in urban design policy for suburban town centres in London: Is strategic design the answer? Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Awareness is increasing among planners and designers that the previously neglected suburbs may have an important role to play in enhancing the overall sustainability of the city-region. Urban design, applied with the aim of enhancing a sense of place, may also be particularly important in the traditionally 'placeless' suburban context. Following the 2004 Planning and Compensation Act, urban design frameworks began to emerge for suburban town centres in London. They are important and demand analysis, because they represent modern urban design in London moving beyond the city core into mixed-use suburban areas. Any analysis of this phenomenon must also include awareness of the implications of the London Plan, setting as it does the strategic planning context for all suburban design frameworks. Three differing case study design frameworks were selected for detailed investigation. In most cases, micro-scale design objectives within the study area were well-formulated. However, issues relating to their wider context often appeared problematic, notably the frameworks' relationship with neighbouring centres, enhancement of local distinctiveness, and their attitude towards environmental sustainability. With the relatively monocentric London Plan ignoring the important potential contribution of London's suburbs to city-region growth and sustainability, the regional planning context thus generated encourages the pariochiality highlighted within the case study design frameworks. A realignment of regional policy, particularly the formulation of strategic design goals, might offer suburban town centres more opportunity to contribute to London's growth and sustainability. According to case study evidence, such realignment should incorporate promotion of orbital public transport corridors, coordination of complementary or 'niche' roles for town centres enhancing any existing local sense of place, and top-down integration of environmental sustainability from regional to local level. This new strategic planning and design context might represent an achievable first stage towards a more sustainable, polycentric pattern of development for London.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Deficiencies in urban design policy for suburban town centres in London: Is strategic design the answer?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1568132
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