How to maximise the potential of residential areas through environmental enhancements

Daniel Sterry, Urban Vision’s Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Group Leader, discusses how landscape design can re-ignite residential areas and help to enhance the quality of life for those who live there.

 

The neglect of housing stock and associated infrastructure can significantly decrease the attractiveness and prosperity of an area.  No matter where you live in the UK, having a sense of pride in where you live is really important. By adding the simplest of environmental enhancements to a new or existing residential space, it can significantly improve the aesthetics of an area, the quality of life of the residents whilst also promote a sense of community pride and cohesion that perhaps was not there before.

Daniel says:

“For successful improvements you primarily need a thorough and detailed understanding of the site and its context, followed by effective communication with local residents and stakeholders and a client, design and construction team that works together to effectively and efficiently deliver the enhancements through to completion.”  

Having supported many clients with housing environmental enhancement projects over the years, including Denbighshire County Council, Parkway Housing Trust, Southway Housing Trust and Salford City Council, Urban Vision’s landscape architecture team has 30 years of experience of this approach.

Daniel continues:

“We have learnt that through every stage of the design and construction process communication is key.  As designers we need to understand what the priorities of residents are, so we can make sure their needs and expectations are met wherever possible.“This also creates buy-in and community excitement around a scheme, making it more likely that enhancements remain looked after by the community once completed. A sustainable environment is one that is animated with people, when celebrations take place, the environment is invested in by the people and by the stakeholders.

 

“We also develop design guidance documents that focus on connecting the local character and assets whilst also review the detail, from the aesthetic to the robust specification perspective. Good design doesn’t need to be complex nor cost the earth.  Simple solutions to complex issues are often the best approach for the present and future sustainability of the scheme.“With this approach and stakeholder investment we have seen local communities flourish with both personal pride whilst also developer investment adding to and enhancing the continuous sustainable environment cycle”  notes Daniel.

As well as providing landscape architecture services, our clients have the benefit of taking advantage of our multi-disciplinary in-house team of urban designers, costs consultants, highway engineers, structural engineers, network management and communications team. It means clients can have all their project requirements handled by one team if they wish, which in return brings efficiencies and cost effectiveness for their scheme delivery.

To find out more about how we can help you with the delivery of environmental enhancement scheme, please contact Daniel at dan.sterry@urbanvision.org.uk or on 0161 779 6051.

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