TransForm Places

Bad layouts make bad places

May 9, 2012adminNews, Opinion

Connected developments are, in the main, better developments. Whilst there is such a thing as over permeability, connected movement networks offer a better way of doing things. They have been at the core of best practice for a good while now, so we should be seeing more of them, not less.

However, sometimes things go wrong. In the two examples below, they have gone really wrong. The first example we’d like to show you is from Hamilton, where the developer saw fit to go fencing…

Maybe they had some left over. Maybe there is some kind of joke that we don’t get but which is really very funny. Or maybe an already slightly iffy layout has been messed up even further by a wilfully bad design that took more effort to get wrong than get right.

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What we are left with is a garden fence jutting out insanely across the street, severing one from the other and doubtlessly providing a nice graffiti wall in the process. We don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Next up, have a look at this little beauty, also from Leicester. It took us a while to get our heads round what was going on, as at first glances it looks like it all joins up. But alas our optimism was short-lived; none of the routes around Chainama or Augusta connect and there are fences, bollards and bits of green S.L.A.P* all over the shop to make damn sure you get the message: No. Through. Routes.

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This is a shame as what this area sorely needs is to be better connected. The whole area is served by just two points of access and to get anywhere doubtlessly means a car trip. What a waste of time and energy.

As much fun as it is to sit back and poke fun, there is a serious message here; messing up layouts has profound negative long-term effects and there are simply no excuses left in this day and age. You can freely download guides on how to put places together, and the principles behind it are breathtaking in their simplicity.

So please, concentrate on getting this bit right. Good things will follow.

* Space Left Over After Planning: all those cruddy maintenance nightmares that you see dotted about the place in masterplanned developments. No one wants to look after them, they serve no purpose other than to annoy people, and considering the value of land, make no sense at all.

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