Urban Landscapes

Discovering the essence of urban topography


Buildings are the most conspicuous components of the urban design palette - they articulate space that surrounds them, creating a discourse for the area or town and provide boundaries to  its shape and size. Well designed buildings and clusters of buildings work together to define character and produce  a sense of place for an area.


Streets, alleyways and thoroughfares are the arteries that connect locations and spaces, as well as being a discourse in their own right. They have been defined by their actual dimension and nature together with the size, scale, and character of the buildings that line and overlook them. They can range from grand avenues to little,  pedestrian thoroughfares. The pattern of this network is a part of what defines a city and what indiviidualises each twon city and urban vista..

The use of widows in urban design is crucial to bringing to life the topography of a street the street. As this segment from the UK government's paper on Urban Design Lessons shows, the is a crucial connection between neighbourhood quality and design.

"Active frontage made up of front doors and windows (especially to ground floor habitable rooms) create lively and well supervised streets. This is a key requirement for creating safe and attractive public spaces. Keeping gaps between buildings limited and avoiding blank walls and garden fences which face the street are important considerations. To achieve this, long perimeter blocks, wide frontage dwellings and bespoke dual-fronted corner dwellings can all contribute to active frontage." 

The full report can be read here

The creative articulation of space

What is urban design? The best way to define it is that it articulates meaning to the glass bricks and concrete that surround us in the urban environment. It is a process that allows the shaping the physical discourse and topography of villages, towns and cities. Good design, bad design; opinions and taste..Opinion can be harsh and divided. The question should be does the urban landscape provide a story as you look at it? This site is dedicated to looking and finding those stories