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Designing Sustainable Cities



Designing Sustainable Cities

Rachel Cooper, Graeme Evans, Christopher Boyko

ISBN: 978-1-444-31868-5 November 2009 Wiley-Blackwell 336 Pages

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This book offers practical solutions to achieving sustainable urban design and development, and helps designers communicate these solutions effectively to planners, developers and policy makers.

Addressing sustainability issues in relation to the design and planning of the urban environment is a complex, multi-disciplinary issue and solutions never arrive from a single perspective. The authors use design as a facilitating factor to consider when and by whom decisions that contribute to sustainability are made, and through three major city-centre case studies - London, Manchester and Sheffield – they consider social, environmental and economic factors and examine their relationship to the decision-making process.

Designing Sustainable Cities begins by identifying the key processes and lead decision-makers. The following chapters develop an understanding of the dimensions of sustainability, presenting the tools by which the dimensions can be analysed. Later chapters illustrate the trade-offs and the relationships between the dimensions of sustainability - with case study examples - as well as the use of IT in making design decisions. Finally, the book makes recommendations for future approaches to the design, development and on-going management of urban environments.

Designing Sustainable Cities covers:

  • latest research data on the urban environment and the interaction between social, economic and environmental issues
  • methods of understanding the context in which urban design takes place
  • guidance on the codes of practice
  • process maps to help understand the context, make trade-offs and develop design solutions that allow for change
  • methods for testing the consequences of design proposals and monitoring outcomes.
The Vivacity Team.




Section 1 The urban design process.


1 The urban design decision-making process: definitions and issues.

2 Urban design decision-making process: case studies.

3 Urban design decision-making process: a new approach.


Section 2 Environmental sustainability and city-centre living.


4 Urban environmental quality.

5 The sensory city.

6 Inclusive design of 'away from home' toilets.


Section 3 Urban form and social sustainability for city-centre living.


7 Housing in the twentieth-century city.

8 Designing safe residential areas.

9 Crime and urban design: an evidence-based approach.


Section 4 Diversity and mixed use for city-centre living.


10 Urban sustainability: mixed use or mixed messages?

11 The generation of diversity.


Section 5 Supporting urban design decision-making: ICT.


12 IT Infrastructure for supporting multidisciplinary urban planning.

Section 6 VivaCity2020: artists-in-residence.


13 The role of art practice within VivaCity2020.

14 Present in public space.


15 The ongoing sustainable city endeavour.


1 VivaCity industry partners and collaborators.

2 Explaining space syntax.


?The presentation and interpretation of the data from the study areas provides the reader with a sound and logical introduction to the complex topic of sustainable urban design and offers some practical solutions to achieving sustainable designs.? (Building Engineer, November 2009)

  • multidisciplinary approach to understanding the relationships between urban policy, urban form, urban experience and urban design decision-making

  • views the design of cities from the physical science, social science, and design perspectives to understand the social, economic and environmental dimensions of urban sustainability

  • Includes detailed city-centre case studies from London, Manchester and Sheffield