Urban Design is an integrated approach and a multi-disciplinary process shaping the built environment for life. It involves the design of buildings, open spaces, landscapes, and public domain framed by economic, social, and environmental factors.
The built environment is the physical expression of urban design. It consists of relationships, shapes and size of buildings, structures and spaces. It will influence the users activity and movement in a place and quality of the life.
Good urban design advocates strong design values to guide strategic planning processes to form the built environment that are more liveable, sustainable, healthy, and prosperous to live in. A good urban design values:
- Character – sense of place and its history
- Diversity – an inclusive place with variety of uses and users
- Connectivity – pedestrian oriented and easy to get to and move through
- Adaptability – adaptable buildings and places to variety of uses and changes for future use
At Camden we are committed to good urban design and actively creating places we want to live in. Our aim is to ensure growth respects our rich history and rural character, and is highly sustainable and resilient, and responsive to climate change.
Urban Design Key Considerations
The built environment is the physical expression of urban design. It consists of relationships, shapes and size of buildings, structures and spaces. It will influence the users activity and movement in a place and quality of the life. The quality of built environment is informed by urban design components including:
Relationship between the development and the nature and extent of the subdivision area, pattern, street scale, and building frontage
Building size and its relationship to its context and impact to the views and skyline
Relationship between the building and the street
As more and more people live in densifying urban areas, the need and importance of open spaces and encountering natural environment increases. The everyday experience of connecting with nature is a key factor in health an well being of urban citizens. A good open space will encourage and enable healthy and sustainable travel choices and promote biodiversity. Also spending time outdoors provides opportunities to meet other people and have shared experiences to build stronger communities.
Public open spaces are one of our priorities in growth areas and creating a sustainable Camden.
Good urban design can reduce the impacts of extreme weather conditions and climate change through sustainable planning and practices to optimise energy and water efficiency and minimise waste and carbon emissions.
At Camden, sustainability is about creating urban environments that protect our rural heritage, protect and enhance our natural environment, while ensuring we are a resilient, healthy and connected community.
Changes in land-use (i.e. rural to urban) has the potential to double the temperature increases caused by climate change. As cities expand and land is redeveloped, urban microclimates change. Urban areas tend to be significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas, when there is less green cover and more hard surfaces which absorb, store, and radiate heat. The urban heat island (UHI) effect defines urban areas become significantly warmer than surrounding vegetated areas, creating ‘islands’ of urban heat.
UHI is a significant and growing issue for urban areas in particular Western Sydney. Trees, green roofs, cool materials (i.e. high albedo materials for paving, cladding, etc.), and vegetation can mitigate the UHI effect.
Camden aims combating the impacts of climate change and the UHI effect by promoting good urban design and planning strategies to reduce, adapt and respond to climate change and extreme events. We actively investigate opportunities to protect and enhance urban tree canopy cover in new and established areas (including the retention of remnant vegetation) as well as improve connectivity and accessibility to high quality open space and waterways to mitigate urban heat and contribute to the amenity of neighbourhoods.
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