Stephen Hill - How to live more sustainably: Aligning Personal and Professional Values


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A presentation given by Stephen Hill at the 2011 Design Skills Symposium that was held in Stirling and organised by Architecture + Design Scotland and Historic Scotland.

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Stephen Hill - How to live more sustainably: Aligning Personal and Professional Values

  1. 1. Stephen HillC20 FutureplannersDesign Skills Symposium 2011, Tollbooth, Stirling “Delivering Better Places”
  2. 2. How to live more sustainably?Aligning Personal and Professional Values Stephen Hill, C2O futureplanners Dare to be in – subordinate !
  3. 3. Shelley McNamara, Grafton ArchitectsWhat would be your dream commission?Something like Ilôt 13 in Geneva, whichdeveloped organically with a mixture ofsquatters, students, cooperatives andprivate sector housing, new and old.The way a project is commissioneddetermines the outcome.Design is only one component
  4. 4. Les Grottes“Unhealthy and unsuitable forthe imperatives of modernityof a growing city”
  5. 5. “…doomed to integral destruction” 1977 Referendum halts city council plans…“the inhabitants having democratically invited themselves to the decision-makers table.”
  6. 6. “Instead of blockinginadequate projects,the inhabitants becomegenuine actors…” Europan 1991 Ilôt 13 Atelier 89
  7. 7. “More participative,and ecologicalapproaches…suppress thecar parking…new housing… “…half the cost ofworkspace… classic retrofits.”cultural centre”
  8. 8. Exhibition Road, London
  9. 9. DIY Solar Panels… catalyst for the country"When we invested in a place… it becomes alive”
  10. 10. The Big Society “Too much has been imposed from above, when experience shows that success depends on communities themselves having the power and taking the responsibility. It‟s no good officials in Whitehall or even the Town Hall telling people what is needed in their street.”…. everyone has a stake basedon equal rights and where theypay their dues by exercisingresponsibility in return, andwhere local communities shapetheir own futures.
  11. 11. Neighbourhood planning and Community Right to Build “I want to spark a… !!! A bottom up revolution …. from the top… with support from the highest levels of government…
  12. 12. Do something unprecedented… We are too used to accepting theboundaries we ourselves have created... Greatest task will be convincing peoplethey exist at all… Change the culture… The Bill is not enough…
  13. 13. What makes a good sustainable neighbourhood?
  14. 14. “A wonderful place to grow up” Colin Ward
  15. 15. Design Paradox:Ye Olde Placemakynge and SpatialPlannyng… “The exceptional urban and environmental qualities we esteem in many of our older cities were achieved with a very modest input of resources, and by a careful and evolving response to the needs of their inhabitants.” Ralph Erskine, Architect
  16. 16. Design Conundrum:Do it like I say…“Specifying in a planthat developmentmust be sustainable isno more useful asguidance to a developerthan describing a pieceof music as beautifultells us anything aboutwhat it sounds like” Rob Cowan - The Dictionary of Urbanism
  17. 17. Design Solution:Do it like we do… “We must learn to see that every problem that concerns us… always leads to the question of how we live” Wendell Berry "Solving for pattern – finding solutions that solve multiple problems”
  18. 18. “We haven‟t done enough on the design…that‟s a major area for improvement” (John Prescott) CONTROL ! Why are we so pre-occupied with “design”?
  19. 19. Landowner Control “Vision for Britain”
  20. 20. PoundburyDesign Guide• Stretcher bond…not permitted• Soldier arches…not allowed• Shiplap boards...not permitted• Parking of caravans, boats or trailers…not allowed “Judicious mixing (of chimney pots)• There shall be no flat roofs will give a feeling of the collective roofscapes having evolved”• Permission will not be given to demolish chimneys• Windows with asymmetric “Windows subdivision…not permitted and doors• Bathroom windows should not shall be be obscured or patterned glass built• Woven panels of wooden entirely of fencing…not allowed timber”
  21. 21. Public Interest Control Design Code 143 pages
  22. 22. You can have any house you like…providing it‟s… BLUE !
  23. 23. “It‟s like Beirut…”Germaine Greer in the Guardian, September 2009 “…uniformly depressing” Another developer
  24. 24. Score analysis: Kickstart funded schemes (136) 9% 10% 54% 27%Very Good (16+) Good (14-15.5) Average (10-13.5) Poor (0-9.5)
  25. 25. House builder Total Schemes Scores Scores Scores5 or more schemes Submitted >10 < 10 >14submitted [66% All]Barratt 32 9 23 2Bellway 24 7 17 3Bovis 8 2 6 0Countryside 11 6 5 3Crest Nicholson 6 2 4 1Galliford Try 14 8 6 6Gentoo [HA] 9 2 7 0Gladedale 5 1 4 0Keepmoat 12 4 8 2Lovell 6 5 1 2Miller 8 1 7 1Persimmon 26 1 25 1Swan New Homes [HA] 5 2 3 1Taylor Wimpey 6 0 6 0TOTAL 172 50 122 22Urban Splash 4 4 0 3
  26. 26. LPA Total Score Score Score Low Scoring High Scoring5 or more Schemes >10 < 10 >14 House builders House Buildersschemes Entered <10 >14Birmingham 9 4 5 1 Bellway/Miller/ City PersimmonCo. Durham 5 0 5 0 Barratt/[New Unitary] KeepmoatLeeds City 6 6 0 4 Barratt/Bellway Miller/ Urban SplashLiverpool City 8 4 4 3 Bellway/LovellManchester 7 6 1 3 Lovell CityNorthumberlan 3 0 3 0 Barratt/Gentoo d[New Unitary]Rochdale 6 4 2 0 PersimmonSolihull 7 2 5 0 Bellway [all 7 schemes]Stockton-on- 6 1 5 0 Bellway/ Tees Gladedale/ Keepmoat/ Barratt
  27. 27. Freiburg:Co-producing Design and valuesfor living
  28. 28. Karlsruhe Nordstadt “Thank goodness, it‟s not Vauban”Smiley West• Local Authority arms length enabling company• Recruit and support 10 „building groups‟• Masterplan and design code• Construction management• 7.5 acre/3 hectare site• 190 homes – 65+ dwellings/hectare
  29. 29. Managed co-production
  30. 30. A grown up politics of design … „Secure by Living Together‟Family Passivhaus group
  31. 31. Barrier free group
  32. 32. Lower cost family group
  33. 33. High valuedetached andsemi-detachedvillas
  34. 34. Mid-market family group “Managing our co-existence in shared space” Prof. Patsy Healey – Definition of Spatial Planning
  35. 35. Coop MikaSmiley BarracksKarlsruhe
  36. 36. Self-refurbishment: Flats forfamily and single people
  37. 37. Mixed uses andcommunity facilities
  38. 38. Diversity and maturity in mainstreampolitics and housing markets - Germany Tübingen Südstadt Karlsruhe, Hamburg, Leipzig…. Project Vauban, Freiberg
  39. 39. The Tübingen way…Co-production of shared space
  40. 40. The English way…space as commodity
  41. 41. Trust…in the designcode…This is all there is…andco-productionthrough dialogueHow many pages doesyour Design Code have?
  42. 42. Alternative public practice • Pelham Grove Coop N17 • The Game>>Planning for Real • Brief: “not look like a council house”
  43. 43. 40 years on-SanfordCoop, RailwayCuttings,Lewisham…60% cut in CO2
  44. 44. Resident controlled market housingThe Ralph Erskine Test of time,and skills and ideas we have lost The Hall and Hallgate, Blackheath 1957 The trouble with planners is… The Architect in Society, Keith Godwin
  45. 45. SPAN Housing at Corner Green……50 years on
  46. 46. “My particular interest was the formation of the courtyard which I thought was a dead space. [It] is not a dead space. It is actually circulation” Eric Lyons“Resident-controlled management companies maysound dully utilitarian, but have been crucial to theirsuccess.”Tony Aldous, former resident and architectural writer
  47. 47. Wesley Square Co-ownership, North Kensington
  48. 48. Community and Private Self-buildDETR Housing Design Award citation:• “ a microcosm of what could be achieved on other sites all over the country by harnessing the imagination and skills of ordinary people.”• “that indefinable quality which marks out the outstanding from the excellent The Diggers, Brighton 1998 Sussex Road, London N19 1999
  49. 49. Ashley Vale BfL Gold Award 2010• 37 homes with affordable business space…started in 2002.• Built on a former scaffold yard.• Grew from local opposition to original redevelopment proposals• Urban sites with “a rural feel” with a nature reserve.• Site layout “creates pleasant, friendly public spaces”• “Relatively high levels of parking are balanced by a home zone approach…to create attractive streets that feel safe for pedestrians.”
  50. 50. Old people look after Tenant Managementthemselves… CoopHAPPIer and cheaper 355 Queensbridge Rdthan the council
  51. 51. SpringhillCo-housingStroud
  52. 52. “Not my weeds…you mean our weeds!”
  53. 53. “Weirdy…they are not normal.”Ward Councillor (from the Big Society Party)at Planning Committee
  54. 54. ThresholdCentre, DorsetFirst HCA grant funded mixed tenureco-housing with Synergy HousingShared facilities include:• The stone farmhouse for visiting guests, and shared meals• 1 acre community market garden• Laundry• Car poolCommitments for all residents:• 4 hours per week of unpaid time to help look after the shared facilities, and do cooking• 1 car and 1 pet per household• Paying share of the running costs of shared facilities• Before taking up residence, spending up to 4 nights here, for the new resident and community to get to know each other.
  55. 55. Joint VentureSelf DevelopmentHearthstone Co-housingN. Denver, Colorado33 leasehold houses andflats with a 4,800 sq. ft.common house on a 1.6acre site.The community was theJV first phase of a ‘newurbanist’ redevelopment inthe historic North Denverneighbourhood.
  56. 56. The model forCommunity Right to BuildCornwall CLT Programme 200717 villages – 120+ homesUnique partnerships…enabling district councils, theircommunities, Carnegie UK Trust, Blisland CLTand an RSL on Bodmin Moor
  57. 57. St. Minver CLTAverage house price £650,000Market value £350,000Cost including land £120,00012 houses 12 monthsOn time – On budget A social movement ? Voluntary taxation? Or just compliance with policy for affordability „in perpetuity‟ ?
  58. 58. Spatial Planning &PlacemakingOutcomes• Community membership and ownership• All incomes and tenures• Medium and high density• Value for money• Long term stewardship• Life in the space between the buildings• Social Capital for the care of the place and people• Resident satisfaction and wellbeing• Sustainable living and resilience through social organisation Material Considerations?
  59. 59. Big Placemaking…
  60. 60. Nice design… but how do youactually make the place?
  61. 61. Phase 1
  62. 62. Phase 2
  63. 63. Phase 3
  64. 64. Phase 31
  65. 65. Phase 31
  66. 66. Completing the vision… • Building centres and along connections • Diversity of housing provider • Early adopter movement patterns • Interim Uses & Services • Town utilities • Backfill spaces in between • Roles of new residents • Spaces left over for possibilitiesDesign Leadership doesnt equal control
  67. 67. Co-production… or making placeswith communitiesNew (old) ideas:• Culture, Skills and Competence• Control and Accountability• Scale• Mixed economy - Self-help - Social Enterprise - Commercial
  68. 68. Values into action“Planning is not avalue free activity.Planners have tounderstand howtheir values affect thechoices they make inboth choosing how tolook at an issue, andhow to turn theresults into reality”Prof. Bill PetermanNeighbourhood Planning and CommunityBased Development 2000
  69. 69. Value norms… “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because and only when, they are created by everybody.” Jane Jacobs in „Life and Death of Great American Cities‟
  70. 70. Fitting the place to the people• “People learn from each other about their own creative powers” Jacobs: The Economy of Cities• Ordinary people overcome everyday constraints on living, by: - adapting - improvising - transforming - trial and error Hamdi: The Placemakers Guide to building communities• “There is a positive function of disorder in cities – energy and lack of control go hand in hand” Sennett on Jacobs
  71. 71. Planning as debate and co-production• Loose fit masterplans and design codes• Planning for Possibilities and Adaptivity• Creative use of present and past planning techniques• Culture change in planning… different tasks
  72. 72. DesignLeadership?• Formal process of “design” ends• Design as “living” begins• Scale and Identity• Intimacy of place and people• Loud and quiet architecture• Unlocking creativityMore than ticking theboxes…
  73. 73. Being aprofessional“It is no longer possiblefor us to masquerade asdisinterested, or objectiveprofessionals, applyingour techniques with equalease to those clients weagree with, as well as tothose we disagree with.We are, in effect, the clientfor all our projects, for itis our own society we areaffecting through ouractions.” (1972)
  74. 74. The magic of design…time tobreak free from the spell