a to z of topics

Use this to access all the topics on the urban design learning space


Browse the glossary using this index

Special | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ALL

Page:  1  2  (Next)
  ALL

L

Land use and movement

The spaces we use to move around have to connect with the places we want to get to. So our towns and cities have to include a network of roads, streets, footpaths as well as buildings, parks and so on. To work well the two have to mesh seamlessly, and the places we need to use most must be easy to get to.

Land can only be used if people can travel to it. So the type and location of movement networks dictate to a considerable extent what happens in a place.

Click here to access our lesson on The individual elements

Landscape

When assessing a design and access statement with regard to landscape consider:
  • Has landscape design been considered throughout the design process?
  • Will the place support biodiversity and environmentally friendly drainage?

Click here to access our lesson on Planning tools

Landscape

When considering whether the landscape of a place is well-designed, you need to ask:

1. How will the place be hard and/or soft landscaped?

2. Is this appropriate for how spaces will be used?

3. Will be help meet objectives like flood prevention or climate control?

4. Will it be maintained?

5. Will there be barriers and obstacles to people moving and using the place?

6. How are levels dealt with? Have the needs of those who can not easily use steps been considered?

Click here to access our lesson on Assessing the design components

Landscape on technical drawings

Landscape on technical drawings can be very difficult to assess.

The proposals aren't always accurate, as most of the time these drawings show mature landscapes. In some cases it can take 20 years for the trees to grow to the height that is shown. Establishing whether the correct species are shown is also essential, as different species grow to different shapes and sizes.

Click here to access our lesson on Technical drawings

Landscaping

Landscaping is the collective term for the areas outside buildings (from parks and gardens to roads and infrastructure) that contribute to the overall character and utility of a place. Landscape design is the process of deciding on what landscaping to use where.
A building does not stop at its front door - it is part of a wider place and impacts on, and influences the local landscape. So the hard and soft landscaping of any area can improve its character.

Landscaping can have a big effect on how a place performs. Porous materials might be used to help ensure rainwater is soaked up quickly. Tactile surfaces, sounds from water and plants with distinct smells can help to create a sensory garden.

Click here to access our lesson on The individual elements

Layout

When assessing a design and access statement with regard to layout consider:
  • Are you clear what the layout will be like?
  • Is the layout accessible?
  • Are spaces fit for purpose?
  • Does the layout use spaces to their best advantage?
  • Will public spaces be safe, overlooked and convenient?

Click here to access our lesson on Planning tools

Layout

The function and appearance of a place is dictated by the way that the individual elements of the place fit together and relate to one another. Layout is influenced by engineering, utility, performance and operational environment - so things like underground servicing equipment, pipes, sewers, the stability of the ground and sub-structure and so on, which can make it harder to build on some parts of a site.

Click here to access our lesson on The individual elements

Layout

When considering whether the layout of a place is well-designed, you need to ask:

1. Do the buildings and layout make it easy to find your way around?

2. Does it mesh with its surroundings?

3. Are streets defined by a coherent and well-structured layout?

4. Does it leave unwanted ‘SLOAP’ (space left over after planning)?

5. Are public spaces and routes overlooked and will they feel safe?

Click here to access our lesson on Assessing the design components

LDF content

The LDF needs to include a series of policies that:
  • embed design across the LDF hierarchy and beyond to the community strategy
  • treat design as a cross-cutting theme
  • base design policies on an understanding of local context and design processes
  • recognise design is important at all spatial scales
  • ensure design delivers social and sustainable outcomes

Click here to access our lesson on Local planning policy

Legibility

People are comfortable in places if they understand how to use them. Can I walk on the grass? Is that a crossing? Which way is the station?

Signs can help people understand places, but we use lots of other, more subtle clues too.

Sometimes these are the most important ones, like views, paths that follow desire lines (where people want to walk) or how wide and inviting pavements look. If a place needs lots of signs to tell people how to negotiate their way around, its design has probably failed.

Click here to access our lesson on Recognising the qualities of good places

Page:  1  2  (Next)
  ALL