Free Urban Design Resources from ‘Across the Pond’

TOD Station Concept, Aberdeen, MDimage: Parsons Brinckerhoff
TOD Station Concept, Aberdeen, MD
image: Parsons Brinckerhoff

Thank You, Prince Charles!

Landscape architects tend to be excellent generalists, but how well are we trained in the specialized art and science of “urban design”?  A decade ago, a change in employment inspired me to strengthen my urban design knowledge, and in the process, discover a wonderful resource from the United Kingdom (UK).

The Urban Design Compendium was prepared for the UK’s Homes and Communities Agency (formerly English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation) by Llewelyn-Davies. The purpose of the document is “to help equip all those involved in the delivery of places with guidance on achieving and assessing the quality of urban design in developing and restoring urban areas”. The document summarizes the principles of urban design, how they can be applied, and the processes which lead to successful places.

When I first stumbled upon this, the agency would send you a free printed copy – but now one must “settle” for free PDF downloads. This knowledge sharing generosity is one result of backing from the Prince of Wales’s Foundation.

My hope is that we can thank Prince Charles by getting to work effectively applying these good ideas to our American context!

 by James Hencke, ASLA

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