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 4 Parts

Urban design issues have become so complex, interwoven and interdependent that planners, policy makers and developers need more advanced means of evaluating different sustainability solutions and the long term consequences of their decisions.

The Research Question:

VivaCity2020 sought to understand how cities could be more sustainable and how those living in cities could live in a more sustainable way. It looked at eight specific Urban Sustainability Issues and addressed these through a new understanding of the urban design decision-making process.

Sustainability Issue
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Urban Design Decision-Making
Sustainability interventions are often retrofitted to existing urban development projects, rather than incorporated into the decision-making process at the outset. For the first time, the urban design decision-making process has been mapped, indicating who needs to be involved at what stages and what tools and resources they may need to enable the design of more sustainable urban environments.
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Generation of Land Use Diversity There is a critical gap in understanding faced by urban designers and
planning authorities: How do the mixed-uses and diverse economic and social networks that characterise vital urban areas evolve? How do these relate to the design of urban areas? How can a plan be created to achieve diversity whilst minimising the undesirable side effects of neighbouring land uses within the dense 24-hour city?
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Secure Urban Environments By Design Two key questions face urban design professionals that until now researchers have failed to adequately address: How can the open and permeable residential environments required for sustainability be achieved without incurring actual or perceived increases in crime? How can facilities in city centres be designed to attract legitimate users, whilst also minimising crime?
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Designing Environmental Quality into City Centre Living
How do issues of urban ecology such as noise and traffic pollution impact on users’ perceptions of the city environment and their quality of life? This Sustainability Issue investigated quality of life within city centres with specific attention paid to the environmental issues of air pollution, noise, lighting and thermal comfort.
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Evolution of Land Use Diversity An experimental counterpart to the observation based Sustainability Issue 2, Sustainability Issue 5 sought to adapt existing agent-based micro simulations developed under a UCL Platform Grant. These were used to address a series of basic theoretical questions, and ultimately to test different policy and design proposals.
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Community Pattern Book For Housing What makes housing attractive to different sub-groups within contemporary, multi-cultural society? Much of the existing housing stock is occupied by people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. It is therefore important to establish the extent to which the housing preferences of ethnic minority communities are similar to or different from those of the majority community, as well as to show whether purpose-built housing schemes incorporate design features not found within mainstream stock.
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The Design of Away From Home 'Public' Toilets in City Centres
How can high quality, accessible public amenities be provided cost effectively? This Sustainability Issue developed an Illustrated Design Digest for use by designers, planners, private companies and public sector organisations that will deliver sustainable, accessible, affordable and inclusive public toilet provision in city centres.
ICT Support Solutions The knowledge developed in Sustainability Issues 2 to 7 was presented in alternative ICT solutions, according to the findings of the requirements capture with stakeholders undertaken in Sustainability Issue 1 and drawing upon nD modeling and VR technologies.



Click here to read the Urban Design Decision-Making Process narrative in order. Click on the side menus to jump to another area of interest.
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