When it comes to creating livable, sustainable and attractive urban spaces, there are certain principles that urban designers and planners abide by. These principles are influenced by a range of factors, from social and environmental considerations to practical design solutions. Here are some of the best urban design principles that contribute to creating successful urban spaces:
People, places and planet: a multifaceted mix. Urban design should take into account the needs and aspirations of people, the context of the place and the impact on the wider environment. Designers should strive for a balanced and harmonious relationship between these three elements.
Human-centric design and activities that put people first. Urban design should prioritize the needs of people in terms of comfort, safety, accessibility, and enjoyment. Spaces should be designed to encourage social interaction, physical activity, and community engagement.
Urban density scaled: Mixed and moderate. Urban density is a critical factor in creating sustainable cities. It should be scaled appropriately to support local amenities, public transport, and green spaces. Mixed-use developments, with a range of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces, create vibrant and diverse urban environments.
Return to courtyards and squares Good enclosures. Courtyards and squares provide valuable public spaces in densely populated cities. These enclosed areas offer protection from noise, pollution, and traffic, creating a more comfortable and pleasant setting for people to gather, relax, and socialize.
Layering and legibility The practical and the surprising. Successful urban design is about creating memorable and distinctive places that offer a rich and layered experience. This can be achieved through careful consideration of building heights, materiality, landmarks, and wayfinding strategies. A mix of practical and surprising elements creates a dynamic and engaging urban landscape.
By following these principles, urban designers and planners can create livable, sustainable, and attractive urban spaces that improve the quality of life for people and protect the wider environment.