Cplan The Urban Renaissance
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Punter, J. ed. (2010) Urban Design and the British Urban Renaissance, Abingdon, Routledge: xx & 371pp: 105 illustrations: in paper (ISBN 978-0-415-44303-6) and hard back: chapters on four parts of ...

Punter, J. ed. (2010) Urban Design and the British Urban Renaissance, Abingdon, Routledge: xx & 371pp: 105 illustrations: in paper (ISBN 978-0-415-44303-6) and hard back: chapters on four parts of London and each of the 12 major UK cities

Uploaded by permission following CPlan lecture by Professor Punter at Cardiff University January 2010

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Cplan The Urban Renaissance Cplan The Urban Renaissance Presentation Transcript

  • INNOVATION AND ENGAGEMENT PUBLIC LECTURE 2010 Urban Design and the British Urban Renaissance John Punter Professor of Urban Design, Cardiff University Design Commission for Wales
  • The book
    • 20 academic authors evaluating progress in major British cities: based on city by city half day seminars with local practitioners: personal verdicts
    • 8 Core City & 4 London case studies:
    • 4 Celtic Capitals as comparators
    • Introductory analysis of renaissance agenda/achievements
    • Summary conclusion and reflections
    • on city experiences
    • Talk explores intro and conclusions
    • Strengths and weaknesses of design
    • Impetus for urban improvement
  • Urban renaissance precedes UTF
    • Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow lead the way 1988-1998
    • Developers/housebuilders alert to opportunities in booming market 1996-9
    • Much strategy/policy continuity at local level: UTF report reinforced trends
    • BUT doubts about LPAs’ ability to maintain quality control through boom
    • Difficult to measure UTF contribution but definitely changed perceptions of cities and increased attention to urban design
    • Significant increase in design exemplars: but mediocrity still the norm
    • Mix of positives and negatives, but only a decade of a 30 year project
  • Manchester 1996 Birmingham 1989 Key renaissance precedents
  • The UTF’s urban design agenda
    • 105 recommendations: most accepted by government: wide range and agenda:
    • Key areas explored in book
    • National urban design framework :
    • 2. Housing supply, quality, sustainability :
    • 3. Public realm and the environment :
    • 4. Resources/skills for local government :
    • Design-led? a conceit? design-informed
    • but economic growth priorities of government
    1999 Independent Report 2005
  • Significantly 71%LPAs meeting all 3 targets: Deregulation of minor applications ongoing 45-46 Streamlined control processes RSS/LDFs implemented but slow production and weak strategic vision: 12% 09 2012 new target for completion. Area Action Plans an unknown quantity 41-44, 47 New Development Plan system and policy support: all new plans by 2002 Minor funding increases only: performance indicators reformed but miss place quality. Success with parks via HLF 21-29 Increase resources for urban environmental management: new models and performance indicators 1.5 cp spaces/du set 2000, but retreat to local determination post 2006 19-20 Car parking standards maxima etc Statutory plans but targets not being achieved: Inadequate funding but improvements evident Modal shift minor but public transport increase 10-13 Local transport plans, modal shift ambitions, homezones, funding Largely achieved 9 Local architecture centres in major cities Not achieved: Millenium Communities continue slowly 8 Demonstration projects of design-led regeneration Ongoing but largely achieved: strong design support and excellent manuals 7 Develop national urban design framework and best practice guidelines Minor achievement; more frequent use 6/94 Design competitions: regeneration projects/major public buildings Not made mandatory: improved advice and wider use 5 Spatial masterplans for area regeneration Code for Sustainable Homes introduced 2006 Staged targets for carbon neutrality by 2016 4 Environmental/running cost rating for homes Increase achieved 25-40 du/ha 2007 Little advice on density standards/design quality 3 Increase densities and advise on standards Not achieved 2 Comprehensive green pedestrian routes Not achieved 1 Local Authority single strategies for public realm Implementation/achievement by mid 2009 Urban Task Force recommendation (UTF 1999)
  • Major failure to improve LA funding esp for infrastructure: PFI shortcomings for design and sustainability. Homes and Communities Agency established as centralised and integrated regeneration body 2008 with generous funding. 85-102 Increase LA funding and simplify and extend regeneration funding: trial PFI; PPS 15 finally emerged but no Heritage Bill. Some funding for living over the shop but no VAT reform to aid conservation/rehabilitation 81-84 Measures to ensure empty property use, esp historic buildings, and harmonise VAT to encourage refurbishment More than 50% now owned by Housing Associations through stock transfers and ALMOs but shortfall of social housing supply increased to 1.67m units 79-80, 103-5 Market unpopular housing and incentivise more mixed social housing and home improvement in regeneration areas. Some achievement but increased costs. Some allowances and simplification of licenses 72-78 Improve environmental regulation for land, water, waste and ensure remediation Compulsory Purchase reforms but general land assembly more difficult through accounting matters 64-71 Vacant land tax, CPO reforms, revolving funds for land assembly 77% brownfield achieved in 2007. Significant achievement 57-62 Brownfield targets raised and increase public land release 40 % of schemes deliver affordable but insufficient supply and impairs design. Community Infrastructure Levy legislated but implementation awaited 49-53 Revise planning agreements, introduce impact fees and review affordable housing delivery Mechanisms implemented but major supply shortfall. Targets not achieved with local resistance and house builders marked under-supply. 48, 54-56 Accelerate land release and ‘plan, monitor manage’ to ensure supply: sequential approach
  • 1: National Urban Design Framework
    • Major achievement: ODPM/CLG set comprehensive agenda/advice
    • CABE’s research, advice, campaigns provided invaluable support
    • All PPS redrafted: ‘good design indivisible from good planning’ (2005)(2007)
    • Manual for Streets, Safer Cities, Accessibility, Arterials?
    • Energy efficiency: CSH/green infrastructure being mainstreamed
    • Place making agenda: more than a mantra? Corporate commitment? CG & LG
    • Efficiency of development control improved: 71% meet all three speed targets
  •  
  • Critical weaknesses
    • Failures of LA leadership to prioritise place making/value of urban design
    • Local Development Frameworks: only 12% in place: low priority
    • Failures of community involvement: little ‘front loading’: public ill-informed
    • Few plan-led, proactive, policy-backed design regimes with effective SPD
    • Skills deficit in control/policy/enhancement: now CSH/MfS/BfL skills to master
    • Advice overload for LPA planners: haemorrhage of talent/skill to private sector
    • Density/plot ratio weaknesses (PPS3) compounded by weak tall buildings policies
    • How are LPAs to be supported in up-skilling and design delivery?
  • Plymouth Bristol Birmingham Westminster
  • 2 Housing supply, quality, sustainability?
    • Brownfield success (77%) and increased ave. densities (44du/ha)
    • S106 delivers significant mix: 10-40 %: half of all affordable housing
    • But tends to drive density up and design quality down
    • Small apartments half of production by 2007: demand conundrum
    • Decent homes programme in Council sector a major success
    • Council estate regeneration in early stages: mixed success: controversies
  • Leeds
  • 2 Housing supply, quality, sustainability (continued).
    • Homes and Communities Agency: positive if belated: reinforces quality (??) and social inclusion agendas:
    • BfL monitoring reveals 18% ‘good+’ and 29% poor design: affordable does slightly better: new CLG targets for improvement
    • Good residential design practices established in some projects;
    • Enquiry by Design, Masterplans, Codes, etc.
    • Positive introduction of Code for Sustainable Homes: delivery challenges to 2016, and existing stock upgrade critical
    • Eco-towns will advance sustainability thinking; green infrastructure vital to urban renaissance
  • Manchester Manchester: imagination ? or greed ? South Somerset vs North Somerset
  • Critical weaknesses
    • Failure to boost supply drives speculation, inflation, market imbalance
    • Affordability crisis and lack of social mix feeds gentrification
    • Lack of social housing supply enforces inclusion: reduces innovation
    • Apartment development lacks design quality/ place making
    • Sustainable Communities Plan 2003 flawed but supply boost vital:
    • Anti-renaissance?
    • SCP re-thinks envt, community, transport
    • Housing Market Renewal : demolition,
    • design, conservation concerns
    • Existing housing needs energy
    • programme
  • Total LAs Pvt RSL Slow increase in production: 220k not achieved Affordability crisis: FTBs pay 12x income in SE Council house sales > affordable production Apartments 21  47% of production 91  07: 2% >2bed UK
  • Quadrant, Attwood Estate, Birmingham North Peckham, Southwark Estate Regeneration environment vs equity
  • Chimney Pot Park, Salford Clevedon Park, Liverpool Housing Market Renewal
  • 3 Quality of the public realm and the urban environment
    • Major successes in city centres: public realm improvements, retail design
    • Manual for Streets advances: 20mph, Home Zone progress: arterials?
    • Greenspace/green infrastructure now on urban agendas
    • HLF fund improves best parks dramatically (x 6 Green Flag)
    • Only modest success in improving management and maintenance and general liveability
    • Poor/unsatisfactory neighbourhoods fall from 68% to 53%! (2001  7)
  • Seven Dials, Camden Grey Street, Newcastle Quality public realm ‘ shared space’
  • Critical weaknesses
    • Single public realm strategies unrealised
    • No major funding for green space programmes: ‘non statutory duty’
    • Failures with congestion charging via referenda: London 1:25
    • Minor increases in walking and cycling: some public transport revival
    • Reliance on CCTV (78% crime budget) & ASBOs for policing
    • Counter-terrorist design supplement: cure worse than disease?
    • Community Empowerment Bill (2008) too little too late: needs resourcing
  • Bristol ‘Legible City’
  • 4 Resources/skills for local government and regeneration
    • Improved funding for local government (UTF and Lyons recommendations)
    • Adequate infrastructure funding: CIL?
    • Reforms of VAT to encourage more rehabilitation/conservation
    • LA leadership on, and commitment to, planning and design
    • Positive use of land disposal powers
    • Improved s106 processes and levies
  • Critical weaknesses
    • None of UTF/Lyons mechanisms to improve LA finances implemented
    • S106 and CIL ambiguities around infrastructure funding
    • Developers and LAs ratcheting up land values, maximising development for s106 funds and capital receipts: setting undesirable precedents
    • LAs prioritise tax base and s106 receipts not proactive planning
    • Skills haemorrhage to private sector: wider skills challenge not met
    • Service cuts and retrenchment to statutory functions
    • Positive environmental enhancement lacks funding: future funding bleak
  • Overall: spatial renaissance in the cities?
    • City centre focus: consumerist emphasis, expanded centres, public realm improved: dramatic re-population
    • New dense apartment complexes but rarely neighbourhoods
    • ‘ Decent homes’ progress but estate regeneration slow/variable results
    • Extensive gentrification, studentification: recession brings rental diversity
    • City centre rim vs inner city benefits
    • Mature suburbs neglected: NIMBYism cripples positive planning/ intensification
    • Edge city reduced
  • Suburbia everywhere ‘ Rim of discontinuity’ Leeds Neglected areas
  • Local responses and distinctive regimes
    • Each city has distinctive strengths and weaknesses: successes and failures
    • Nottingham: land use, transportation, conservation, design integration: integrated thinking, strong officer continuity and leadership: good use of design strategies and briefs: ambitious design initiatives (comparisons with Edinburgh)
    • Liverpool: Liverpool One achievement: Grosvenor and Urban Splash plus URC and CABE: but World Heritage tight rope with many schemes
    • Sheffield: ‘a miserable disappointment no more’: Heart of the City officer-led, now successful partnership; project and public realm focus but inner city, apartment, equity concerns
    • Manchester: ‘entrepreneurial, opportunistic, market oriented’: no LDF or strategy: Code now SPD: consultant briefs/negotiation: erratic quality control with CE interventions, but dynamic and forward thinking
    • Birmingham: no longer in the vanguard: weakening control: towers: Big City Plan more boosterism/branding than design strategy? mould-breaking LDF?
  • Liverpool One Digbeth, Birmingham Sheffield Nottingham
  • Local responses and distinctive regimes
    • Leeds: lost its way with design strategy, apartment oversupply, tall buildings: policy and strategy ambiguities and weakening quality control: lacks direction
    • Bristol: design disappointments/compromises with three major projects: transport weakness and LDF rejection: lacks resources for public initiative but avoids apartment blight
    • Newcastle: city centre and Quayside successes but contested spaces: bold residential strategy aborted: deliverable and sustainable? Vibrancy vs inclusion?
    • London: extremes and inequities: congestion charge, policy pragmatism and collaborative partnerships: iconic towers: masterplan/gentrification (Kings X) Global capital, privatism and limited trickle down (Isle of Dogs):
    • strategic urban design potential everywhere unrealised
  • Bristol Newcastle London Leeds
  • A typology of design commitment
    • Strong consistent control actively shaping development : WESTMINSTER, CAMDEN, EDINBURGH, NOTTINGHAM
    • Sophisticated controls vs entrepreneurial ethic
    • MANCHESTER, CITY OF LONDON, SOUTHWARK
    • Strong focus on key city centre projects: laxer elsewhere
    • LIVERPOOL, SHEFFIELD, NEWCASTLE?
    • Strong design ethos waning
    • BIRMINGHAM, LEEDS, GLASGOW, BRISTOL?
    • Weak design frameworks: development priority
    • THAMES GATEWAY, CARDIFF, BELFAST
    • Generally place marketing eclipsing place making
    • Many different models of planning and design over time, weak plans
  • Liverpool Sheffield Whose city centre?
  • Sheffield Birmingham Leeds
  • Urban design vs the iconic: the search for the ‘Guggenheim effect’ ‘ Starchitecture’, ‘Blobitecture’, ‘Bling’ and ‘Primarni’ design
  • Conclusions: the positives
    • Major city centres boosted: retail: repopulation: night time economy
    • Strong brownfield emphasis and significant average density increase
    • Strong national urban design framework: good design ‘indivisible’
    • Enhanced major parks/public spaces
    • Significant improvement of extant
    • council housing stock
    • Increase in design exemplars
    • Energy efficiency/low carbon priorities
    • firmly established in new construction
  • Conclusions: compromises
    • Neoliberal governance emphasises development facilitation not quality control
    • Competitiveness ethos widens inequalities/ environmental externalities
    • City centres monopolise limited public resources : affluent consumer/tourist focus
    • Housing supply shortages: social exclusion, gentrification, widened inequalities
    • Development industry increasingly split niche vs volume builders on design quality
    • LA’s development priorities driven by
    • capital receipts/ economic priorities
    • Over-development defeats deeper renaissance
  • Conclusions: place marketing not place making
    • Much boosterism: lip service to ‘quality’ (icons, towers etc) but little consistent urban design
    • Few LA leaders/councillors have planning/ design awareness or commitment
    • LDFs / policy frameworks not a LA priority: perceived to subvert innovation/investment
    • DC often lacks proactivity: close corporate working essential to quality place making
    • But coordinated action and PPPs have
    • delivered key projects/public realm
  • Key priorities for the future
    • LA’s need adequate tax base, infrastructure/enhancement funds
    • Meeting housing demand and affordability: socially inclusive, energy efficient urban design a priority: NB CABE vs HCA on design standards
    • Delivering on sustainability, renewable energy, traffic restraint and green infrastructure in all development
    • Widening renaissance to inner and outer
    • suburbs: tackling disinvestment and
    • NIMBYism respectively
    • Community involvement underdeveloped:
    • often hi-jacked by NIMBYist negativity
    • Dearth of LPA design/sustainability skills:
    • corporate design training required
    BowZed
  • A closing window of opportunity?
    • 1999-2009 was an opportunity largely missed: ‘initiativitus’
    • Rising market drove renaissance but quality control not widely maintained
    • Future public spending cuts will subvert much necessary enhancement
    • LA impoverishment will intensify and design will be further sacrificed
    • Improved resourcing/skills in LPAs very unlikely: HCA abolition?
    • Housing supply will be sacrificed to NIMBYism: key design role?
    • Widening inequalities expressed in differential design achievement: urban design reflects political economy
  •  
  • Cardiff: Renaissance City?
    • 88% brownfield 2007: 100% to 2018
    • 70-85% apartments: most of poor urban design
    • Ratcheting up of heights and densities: 13  36 storeys: 100  320du/ha (450)
    • 14% affordable: 6,775 families on waiting list: a sound LDP?
    • Strong place marketing growth vision: ‘competitive city’ Vision
    • Megaproject mentality: from Bay, Ultra, Sports Stadia/Village to SD2, Station & WIBP
    • Focus groups not community empowerment and engagement
    • Economic development insecurity/priority
    • A lack of commitment to good design and planning for a sustainable city
    • Special projects team promises delivery not planning intervention
    • Cardiff needs to match European provincial cities quality of life/environment
    • Struggles with weak infrastructure, tax base, and its cross-subsidy role for Wales
  • World Class Places (CLG 2009) a confusion of place marketing with place making? Affirms some of the book’s conclusions
    • 1, 3, 5 Strengthen central government leadership, policy, design
    • 2 Encourage local civic leaders/government to prioritise quality of place:
    • better assessment methods, ensure quality assessed in new CAAs, focus CG investment, train civic leaders, awards for quality places
    • 4 Put public and community at the centre of place-shaping
    • public involvement in visioning, engagement in public building design, community upkeep of public realm, engage in new home/neighbourhood design: what resources? tokenistic
    • 6 Encourage higher standards of market-led development:
    • clear LDF place ambitions: early joint working on apps; promote value of UD: proactive control
    • 7 Strengthen quality of place skills, knowledge and capacity:
    • strengthen advice, encourage skill sharing between LPAs, up-skill officers and councillors, but how?
  • Bennie Gray, Birmingham Urban Splash, Liverpool George Ferguson, Bristol Igloo, Leeds