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  • Writer's pictureBridgette Macilwaine

Well designed family urban zones

What type of towns and urban zones do families want to live in and for their children to grow up in?

Why are we still seeing poor-quality housing developments being approved and constructed without a progressive and collaborative approach? It seems common sense that most families envision a neighbourhood with features that strengthen communities, offering areas to play and socialize, immersed in attractive and colourful planting, with shaded zones for events, education or markets that support the local economy and community which lead to happier, healthier families and support our local biodiversity.


It’s astounding to see several new housing developments are still focusing on trying to fit in as many houses as possible, with plans showing a lack of considered landscape or central community spaces. The wording in the proposals sounds all good with elements such as green links, buffer planting, community hub and cycle lanes, but then the plans often do not correspond with this wording.


A few basic design principles repeatedly seem to be absent from new housing developments, such as: variety, adaptability, quality, biodiversity, character, sustainability, access, exploration, and legibility.


This is where we as communities, designers and residents trust that the planning officers and our local councils will use their professional standing to scrutinise current development applications to ensure they offer a good quality of life to the residents but also to ensure the site will support local biodiversity, mitigate flooding and offer various landscaped areas for use by the community.

So why then are we still seeing poor-quality housing developments being approved and constructed?

How do we co-operate better on this, with the developers and the planning officers?



Thanks for reading, any questions, we would love to hear from you!


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