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

R

Recognising the qualities of good places

The qualities of successful places are generally accepted to be:
  • character – the identity of a place
  • continuity and enclosure - distinguishing between public and private spaces
  • quality of the public realm – creating lively and pleasant public spaces
  • ease of movement – making places easy to get to and move through
  • legibility - places that are easy to understand
  • adaptability – the ability of a place to change
  • diversity and choice – places that offer a mixture of things to do
  • resource efficiency – making the best use of resources

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

Regional planning policy

According to planning law, proposals for new development must be in accordance with the development plan (unless material considerations indicate otherwise) for planning permission to be granted. This means that design policies in regional and local planning policies have significance in the decision-making process. However, if decisions are not based on robust and well-written policies, decisions may be overturned at appeal.

Click here to access our lesson on Regional planning policy

Regulation

The following legislation provides rules that must be followed:

  • The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
  • Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002


Click here to access our lesson on Policy and law for traffic and streets

Regulation

The following legislation provides rules that must be followed:
  • The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
  • Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002

Click here to access our lesson on Policy and law for traffic and streets

Resource efficiency

A place can be designed so it uses lots of resources, or so that it is carbon neutral and has a reduced impact on the environment. Most places fall somewhere between these two extremes.

This is understandable, because designing means balancing many priorities. It is possible to design a home that you can heat from just one light bulb – but it might not exhibit all the other characteristics of good places we are looking for.

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

Risk - a responsible approach

Risk must be carefully considered, weighed and dealt with proportionately.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published a number of principles relating to 'sensible risk management' in 2006.

Click here to access our lesson on A responsible approach to risk

Road capacity

The capacity or ability of a road to cope with traffic is determined by the size and design of its links and junctions. Decisions are often based on peak hourly flows. Of course travellers don’t always do want we want them to, but in the UK maximum permissible flows are:
  • a two lane dual carriageway should not carry more than 3,000 passenger car units per hour (pcu/h)
  • a motorway should not carry more than 4,500 pcu/h
  • mixed-use roads with junctions (like town high streets) should not carry more than between 1,100 and 1,900 pcu/h

Click here to access our lesson on Streets and the movement network

Road safety

Current thinking suggests that the safety audit procedures should be more integrated with other aspects of design, although at present this is the most formalised part of the audit.

Road safety audits are routinely carried out on highway schemes. The Institution of Highways and Transportation (IHT) produces guidelines which sit alongside the Highways Agency standards set out in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) as the industry standard in the UK. However the procedures set out in DMRB are only a formal requirement for trunk roads.

Click here to access our lesson on Quality audits for highways schemes