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Urban Design in the Real Estate Development Process

ISBN: 978-1-4443-4116-4
344 pages
April 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Urban Design in the Real Estate Development Process (1444341162) cover image


Urban design enables better places to be created for people and is thus seen in Urban Design in the Real Estate Development Process as a place-making activity, rather than the application of architectural aesthetics. Urban design policy can change the 'decision environment' of developers, financiers, designers and other actors in the real estate development process to make them take place-making more seriously.

This book reports diverse international experience from Europe and North America on the role and significance of urban design in the real estate development process and explores how higher quality development and better places can be achieved through public policy.

The book is focused on four types of policy tool or instrument that have been deployed to promote better urban design: those that seek to shape, regulate or provide stimulus to real estate markets along with those aim to build capacity to achieve these. Urban design is therefore seen as a form of public policy that seeks to steer real estate development towards policy-shaped rather than market-led outcomes. The editors set the examples, case studies and evidence from international contributors within a substantive discussion of the impact of urban design policy tools and actions in specific development contexts.

Contributions from leading urban design theorists and practitioners explore how:

  • Masterplanning and infrastructure provision encourage high quality design
  • Design codes reconcile developers' needs for certainty and flexibility
  • Clear policy combined with firm regulation can transform developer behaviour
  • Intelligent parcelisation can craft the character of successful new urban districts
  • Powerful real estates interests can capture regulatory initiatives
  • Stimulus instruments can encourage good design
  • Development competitions need careful management
  • Design review can foster developer commitment to design excellence
  • Speculative housebuilders respond in varied ways to the brownfield design challenge
  • Physical-financial models could help in assessing the benefits of design investment
  • Urban design can add value to the benefit of developers and cities as a whole.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Contributors xiv

1 Real Estate Development, Urban Design and the Tools Approach to Public Policy 1
Steve Tiesdell and David Adams

Introduction 1

Real estate development 3

Opportunity space theory 7

The tools approach to public policy 11

Shaping instruments 15

Regulatory instruments 19

Stimulus instruments 24

Capacity-building instruments 25

Developers’ decision environments 29

2 Masterplanning and Infrastructure in New Communities in Europe 34
Nicholas Falk

Introduction 34

Differences between the UK and Europe 37

Challenges for sustainable development 38

European success stories 43

Joined-up planning in the Randstad 48

Conclusion: lessons for the UK 51

3 Design Coding: Mediating the Tyrannies of Practice 54
Matthew Carmona

Introduction 54

The three tyrannies 55

From development standards to design codes 60

The research findings 64

Conclusion 71

4 Proactive Engagement in Urban Design – The Case of Chelmsford 74
Tony Hall

Introduction 74

Making the turnaround 75

The need for negotiation 79

Two examples 79

Reflections on the developers’ response 85

Conclusion 90

5 Plot Logic: Character-Building Through Creative Parcelisation 92
Tim Love and Christina Crawford

Introduction 92

Setting the rules 93

Parcelling and subdivision strategies 94

The primacy of the urban realm 96

The pitfalls of flexibility 98

Economic viability of low-scale, densely distributed buildings 101

Alternative models 102

Conclusion 112

6 The Business of Codes: Urban Design Regulation in an Entrepreneurial Society 114
Nicholas J. Marantz and Eran Ben-Joseph

Introduction 114

Zoning America 115

Developing America 121

Designing the American future 128

Conclusion 134

7 Good Design in the Redevelopment of Brownfield Sites 137
Paul Syms and Andrew Clarke

Introduction 137

Redeveloping and reusing brownfield sites: the policy and regulatory context 139

Stimulus instruments in practice 143

Conclusion 157

8 Competitions as a Component of Design-Led Development (Place) Procurement 159
Steven Tolson

Introduction 159

The place promoter 161

The deliverer and competition participant 162

The (end) place matters most 167

The competition 167

Conclusion 180

9 Design Review – An Effective Means of Raising Design Quality? 182
John Punter

Introduction 182

Origins, emergence and critiques of design review internationally 183

The typology of design review in England, Scotland and Wales 185

National design review: the genesis of CABE’s procedures and processes 186

How design review can increase the opportunity space for design 190

The effectiveness of design review 193

Conclusions: design review and the quality of development control 196

10 ‘Business as Usual?’ – Exploring the Design Response of UK Speculative Housebuilders to the Brownfield
Development Challenge 199
David Adams and Sarah Payne

Introduction 199

The design debate around speculative housing development 201

The conventional approach to design and construction in speculative housebuilding 206

Responding to the challenge of brownfield development 210

Conclusion 215

11 Physical-Financial Modelling as an Aid to Developers’ Decision-Making 219
John Henneberry, Eckart Lange, Sarah Moore, Ed Morgan and Ning Zhao

Introduction 219

Design quality and development viability 219

Visualisation and financial appraisal 225

Conclusion 233

12 Design Champions – Fostering a Place-Making Culture and Capacity 236
Steve Tiesdell

Introduction 236

The UK local government context 238

The design champion as change agent 239

Edinburgh’s design champion initiative 244

Conclusion 252

13 Value Creation Through Urban Design 258
Gary Hack and Lynne B. Sagalyn

Introduction 258

Design and development projects 260

Strategies for enhancing value 270

Coupling urban design and development 278

14 Connecting Urban Design to Real Estate Development 282
Steve Tiesdell and David Adams

Introduction 282

Urban design and development economics 283

Opportunity space and developer–designer relations 286

Policy choices and policy design 291

Towards a research agenda 297

References 299

Index 316

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Author Information

Steve Tiesdell, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Urban Studies, University of Glasgow

David Adams, Ian Mactaggart Professor of Property and Urban Studies, University of Glasgow

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“David Adams has done a good job in completing the work to give a many-faceted set of insights on urban design in the broadest sense for all those involved in studying, planning and delivering the built environment.”  (Housing Studies, 2 August 2012)

“This edited collection is a pragmatic book exploring various ways of increasing the likelihood that good urban design will result from the interaction of agents involved in the property development process.”  (Journal of Urban Design, 2 February 2012)



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