Design Control: Towards a New Approach

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Butterworth Architecture, 1996 - Architecture - 128 pages
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The control of the design of town and country suffers in most countries, and particularly in Britain, from a lack of clearly stated policy. Too much is held in the mind of the planning officer. Although changes to the urban and rural environments are largely incremental, there is rarely any framework to ensure consistency over time and place and thus to implement any coherent design philosophy. As the development process requires negotiation between many parties, the lack of advance information creates uncertainty and delay. Moreover, members of the public do not feel involved in the processes as they have little that they can understand and respond to.

This book proposes a new way forward. The need for negotiation requires that design goals and objectives be made explicit. They should be distinguished clearly from the criteria for their fulfilment, any advice on how they could be achieved and the legal and administrative procedures to be employed.

A new concept, the design area, is proposed in place of uniform land use zones. Its use will enable design strategies, including mix of uses, to be shown, the stated objectives to vary from place to place and variations in the degree of intervention to be made explicit. In addition, a start is made on developing a more structured language with which to express changes to urban form. To make the plans more accessible to the negotiating parties and the general public, new developments in technology can come to our aid. Computer-based visualisation and multimedia techniques provide mediums that are both more accessible, more interactive and less biased than the current documentation.

Examples from current practice
Innovative approach

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Limitations of the existing system the British experience
The Chelmsford case study
Examples from British practice
Communicating design policy

About the author (1996)

Tony Hall is Head of the Design Guidance Research Unit at the Anglia Polytechnic University, Chelmsford.

Bibliographic information