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Comisiwn Dylunio Cymru Design Commission for Wales. Urban conservation and urban design in Wales: The perspective of DCFW. John Punter, Professor of Urban Design, CPLAN, Cardiff University Director and Chair of Design Review, DCFW. 4th Fl. Building II, Caspian Point,

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slide1
Comisiwn Dylunio Cymru

Design Commission for Wales

Urban conservation and urban design in Wales:

The perspective of DCFW

John Punter, Professor of Urban Design, CPLAN, Cardiff University

Director and Chair of Design Review, DCFW

4th Fl. Building II, Caspian Point,

Caspian Way, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4DQ

T: 029 2045 1964 F: 029 2045 1958

www.dcfw.org

the role of dcfw
The role of DCFW

Established by the Assembly in 2002:

  • To champion high design standards
  • To promote best practice in sustainable development
  • To promote equal opportunity/ social inclusion alongside
  • To promote design excellence in day-to- day

developments as well as prestige projects

Roles include:

  • design review of selected projects
  • advice to WAG, NHS Estates, LPAs and developers
  • skill development and coordination (LPA training)
  • research and monitoring
  • education at all levels—primary to professional
  • procurement advice
  • LPA support
dcfw design review 150 projects since 2003
DCFW design review150 projects since 2003
  • 23 design experts, competitive interviews, cross-professional, rotated, unpaid, monthly meeting
  • All projects which LPA, developer, community, or WAG want us to see: everyday to the iconic
  • Offer verbal advice through dialogue and written report with recommendation
  • Authoritative but non-statutory
the importance of good design
The importance of good design

Good design is about much more than external appearance and aesthetics

Well designed developments:

  • Perform their functions well
  • Long lasting and adaptable
  • Respond well to site/context
  • Create delight for users/locals
  • Are energy/resource efficient,

low carbon, accessible,

  • minimise envt. impact

(see PPW and TAN12)

The value of good design

  • Good design adds value to the proposed development and to the place where it is located
  • Good design does not have to cost more, it will often save money: the best design will cost more at the outset but will repay the investment many times
  • Mediocre design is poor economics and environmentally negligent
urban design and urban conservation
Urban design and urban conservation
  • Urban design principles are key to successful planning/development control
  • Principles underpinned by a conservation ethos

Character and context (local distinctiveness) natural heritage, continuity and enclosure, variety and diversity, compactness, legibility, accessibility, public realm, adaptability, resource efficiency (TAN 12/POSW Guide)

  • ..Urban design and conservation are essential components of an effective planning system. They have the common objective of delivering high quality, locally distinct and valued built environments…good conservation ensures that important buildings and spaces continue to have a contemporary relevance and vitality. Good urban design learns from the past and respects it in developing policies and proposals for new building and refurbishment and for the enhancement of the public realm (CABE/EH/POS 2003)
conservation contexts design conundrums
Conservation contexts; design conundrums
  • City centres and high rise: Cardiff and Newport
  • Town centre retail: Wrexham, Carmarthen, Cardigan, Pontypridd,
  • Urban design strategies: Caernarvon, Abergavenny, Swansea
  • Public realm: Abergavenny, Caernarvon
  • Conservation area infill: Criccieth, Holywell, Llanwrst
  • Listed buildings: Coal Exchange, Cardiff Castle
  • Suburban intensification: Ridge Way Rd Newport, Whitchurch CF14
  • Edge city: Dragon Studios, WIBP, Brynmawr,
  • Rural settlements: Bethlehem
  • Edge City: Dragon Studios, WIBP
  • DCFW is concerned to conserve the distinctiveness and ensure the sustainability of the built environment everywhere in Wales?
  • What can it achieve? (it is not infallible!)
slide7
Cardiff city centre

Altolusso

Central Hotel

slide9
Wrexham

Carmarthen

Major Town Centre Retail

slide10
Townscape Heritage Initiative

Shop front restoration

Cardigan

slide11
Riverfront elevation

Angharad Walk Pontypridd: Fifth attempt since 2000

Angharad Park vs conservation area

Taff St elevation

slide13
Swansea

Abergavenny

Urban design strategies

slide14
Abergavenny Cattle Market

Asda in-town: Conservation Area edge

slide17
Criccieth

New Street Mold

slide19
Coal Exchange, Cardiff Bay

3rd floor plan

West elevation

slide20
Cardiff Castle:

restoration & visitor centre

slide21
Suburban Intensification

Pegasus Apartments,

Church Road, Cardiff

slide22
Redrow Apartments, Porthcawl

Ridgeway Park Road, Newport

slide23
Villages and hamlets

Bethlehem, edge of BBNP

Little Haven

slide24
Edge City

Dragon Studios

Jct 35a M4

WIBP

Jct 33, M4

Brynmawr

some conclusions
Some conclusions

Questions we ask of planning, urban design and development control

  • Has conservation been downgraded as a national/LPA priority?
  • Where are the proactive conservation strategies?
  • Where are the THF bids and matching funds?
  • Where are the watchers in the fields? CAACs?
  • What percentage of CAs have been assessed and how well?
  • Are there trained conservationists in DC? What is their workload? Can they impact?
  • The new challenges of scale and height
  • The complexity of compromise
  • Can policy and DC wrest back control?
  • Why don’t CADW and DCFW work more closely together?
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