Everything we built today has a direct impact
on our lives as well as our future generations. Each new structure
whether a shop, an office building or a bus stand, influences the
character of the public space and either contributes to or
detracts from the overall image of the city.
Good urban design makes the difference between
a successful and sustainable place that thrives, and a place to be
Safe, clean and attractive surroundings not
only help improve our physical and mental health but enhance our
sense of community and our attachment to a particular place.
Conversely, badly designed and poorly
maintained public spaces encourage graffiti and vandalism
resulting in places that are unwelcoming, dirty and perhaps even
dangerous, therefore undermining public confidence in them.
As towns increasingly compete with one another
to attract investment, the presence of good and clean shops,
offices and recreational areas become a business and marketing
tool. Companies are attracted to locations that offer
well-designed and well-maintained developments and these in turn
attract customers, employees and services.
The usual argument for mediocre developments is
minimal construction time and cost and maximum profit. This may be
appealing in the short term but long term, we suffer by having to
put up with unsightly developments and sub standard urban spaces.
On the other hand, well designed developments
which are built to attract and build to last will be financially
beneficial to developers and designers resulting in better
tenants, better returns, higher capital values and lower
maintenance over a longer period of time.
Currently, the overriding impression of our major towns
and cities is one of squalor, neglect and dirtiness.. Little
attempt to make urban spaces more interesting.
General building character - drab and
badly in need of exterior renovation e.g. repainting.
Unadventurous and unremarkable design.