New towns evaluation

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Stephen Platt
01223 460475

CAR has developed a tool for monitoring and evaluating the liveability and sustainability of new towns, new settlements and major urban extensions at regular intervals in order to provide lessons for future new housing.

The evaluation is based on how well the developments perform against community, character, connectivity and climate criteria and how ‘liveable’ residents perceive their housing and neighbourhood to be.

Our evaluations cover the following type of issues and questions:

Quality of design: How well does the place perform? How much does the architecture matter to people? How good is the public open space? Does it work for different groups of residents and the surrounding community, including children, young people and the elderly.

Patterns of behaviour: Where did residents come from? Where do people work, shop and go to school? What is the social housing like? How socially integrated is the development both within the development and with the local area? What is the sense of ‘well-being’ in terms of community spirit, mental health and crime levels.

Energy and environment: How well does the development perform in relation to environmental design and sustainable living?

Policy: How effective were the local planning authority’s planning policies; how were resources used and did they deliver what was intended?

Lessons: How can the lessons learnt from the development be applied elsewhere?

Our evaluations are both efficient and comprehensive. They involve a review of existing reports and surveys, observation and site visits, interviews with ‘stakeholders’ and a survey of residents. The measures are both quantitative and qualitative, and cover a range of liveability and sustainability factors. The insights provide lessons for proposed schemes.

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