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Is it easy to understand the relationship between the scale of the development and its surroundings from the information provided? No-one will see the place at the scale shown on the drawings and computer-based images can often be misleading. It is important to understand how real users will consider sizes.

Click here to access our lesson on Planning tools


Scale means the size of buildings and spaces. It is important to think about whether the sizes are right for the site. This often means thinking about and explaining how the size of new buildings relate to neighbouring developments. Size also affects whether new buildings and spaces will be economically viable.
Any consideration of scale needs to take into account:
  • the height, width and length of buildings
  • the size of spaces in relation to each other and their surroundings
  • the size of parts of a building or its details

Click here to access our lesson on The individual elements


When considering whether the scale of a place is appropriate, you need to ask:

1. How big are the buildings and/or streets and their parts?

2. Will they feel comfortable for users?

3. Are they a good size for the uses they will have to contain?

4. Is their relationship to their surroundings appropriate?

5. Are crossings, pavements and junctions of an appropriate scale which reflects and respects the use and character of the area?

Click here to access our lesson on Assessing the design components


Scales are of the utmost importance on technical drawings - without them the assessment stage could not be carried out.

Ensuring each drawing is presented at a conventional scale allows us to verify the proposals. The technical drawings should all be to a measurable scale or they contradict their purpose.

Click here to access our lesson on Technical drawings

Social policy objectives

Design policy can have a positive impact on social issues such as crime, education, health and inclusion:
  • design policy is influenced by a belief that well-designed places can help to reduce crime
  • the design of schools and other educational institutions impacts significantly on the experiences of pupils and students
  • design policy is influenced significantly by concerns about public health
  • design policy embodies principles of inclusion and accessibility

Click here to access our lesson on Social policy objectives

South East plan (The)

The South East Plan was published in May 2009. The Independent Inspectors' Report on the Plan was published in August 2007. The Government published its response to the report and consulted on this during the autumn of 2008.

Click here to access our lesson on Regional planning policy

Space Syntax

Movement and the routes that people take help to define a place’s character – whether as a busy high street or quieter residential area. It influences the viable land uses, property values, social interaction, and crime that occur along streets. Understanding how people move through different spatial layouts and the routes they take, can help to better designed areas that respond to the level of movement within the street.

Click here to access our lesson on Space Syntax

Street design

In real life you should separate designing streets from junctions, so please keep in mind all of the issues here when considering how to design different types of junction.

The Manual for Streets relates primarily to residential environments, but its basic principle, to think about the character of the street and balance the role it has to play as a route and as a place to just be in, is important for all streets.

Click here to access our lesson on Design principles for streets

Street element

Streets are made up of:
  • crossings and traffic lights
  • lighting
  • pavements
  • carriageways and cycle paths
  • signs
  • street furniture
  • trees

Click here to access our lesson on Design principles for streets

Streets and the movement network

If a town or a district is to be economically viable and prosperous, people and goods need to be able to get to and from it easily. The majority of transport takes place on roads (although air and rail are also important).

Road maps give information on the size of each road, where it goes and also what it is intended to be used for. This one shows the roads around the town of Bedford. Each road is colour-coded to indicate its size and type.

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

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