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Advanced masterclass in urban design

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 at 9:30AM - 4:30PM
£399 for RTPI members (From £199 with a season ticket)
£199 for licentiate members and independent consultants; £140 for students, unemployed and retired; £499 standard price
RTPI Conferences

RTPI Conferences’ long-running masterclass ‘Design in the planning system’ introduces urban design to planners, explaining how planning policy and management can raise standards of design in development. This masterclass will show local authority specialist staff and others how frameworks for high-quality development can be created in practice.

Achieving high standards of design through the planning system has rarely been more challenging. On the one hand, the National Planning Policy Framework recognises design as an essential part of delivering sustainable development. On the other hand, local authorities have to come to terms with funding cuts, the government’s high priority for housebuilding, and changes to the planning regime.

The UK planning system has always struggled with design. Too often planners find themselves at the end of the process, trying to make a poorly designed proposal rather less poor. In such cases urban design is a sugar-coating for bad planning. Many of the conservation areas that are celebrated today are instances of a well-conceived planning framework being developed by a number of different hands: architects, small developers and others. Planners and urban designers rarely have the opportunity to have a real influence on the design of buildings or neighbourhoods, but they should be able to create the conditions that will make success much more likely. This masterclass will show them how.

Benefits of attending

This masterclass will provide participants with an understanding of:

  1. Planning for streets, blocks and plots
  2. The role of urban design in neighbourhood planning
  3. Specifying rules and protocols
  4. Urban design frameworks and design codes.

Who should attend?

This masterclass is designed for:

  • Forward planners in local authorities
  • Urban designers
  • Planning consultants and architects
  • Specialists in urban regeneration
  • Civic leaders
  • Neighbourhood planners



9.00 Registration and coffee

9.30 Introduction

  • The process of creating successful places
  • Tools of urban design: policies, frameworks, codes and protocols

Exercise 1:  Mount Pleasant site

The Mount Pleasant site (which straddles the border of Camden and Islington) has been a major planning controversy over the past year. A mixed-use redevelopment scheme that has been approved by the London Mayor has being challenged by an alternative scheme drawn up by the local community and designed by a team of leading professionals. The workshop will review these two schemes, and draw up the framework for a third alternative, based on the principles that the masterclass is presenting.

10.15 Site visit, then return to venue

11.15 Review of the approved scheme

11.30 Review of community’s alternative scheme

11.45 Structuring a third alternative for the Mount Pleasant site

12.30 Lunch

Exercise 2:  Brunswick Close site

The site of the present Brunswick Close Estate, Clerkenwell, London EC1. This 1950s housing estate is not due for redevelopment, so our project to design a new scheme for the site is a hypothetical one. But this is just the sort of site and context that sets challenges for urban designers.

1.30 Site visit

2.30 Structuring a development proposal for the Brunswick close site

3.30 Application: applying the lessons of the masterclass to participants’ working lives

4.30 Close