Designing for housing growth: sustaining historic towns

The pressure for new housing will impact on historical towns and the design of new housing needs to be exemplary and of our time. This study will provide inspiration for those adopting a contemporary approach to residential led development within historic towns.

It is clear that many in the development industry are wrestling with contemporary sustainable design and questions regularly arising during the development planning process include:

  • How to capture a town's existing architectural character?
  • How to use contemporary architectural design in an historic context?
  • How to deal with a modern approach to density in historic towns?
  • Are designers reflecting the town's true urban grain or applying standard 'national' design principles?
  • How to mitigate the impact of cars?
  • Solely housing led development will not provide positive growth in an historic town; how do we plan for varied, adaptable use?
  • How to design for resource efficiency in an historic context?
  • How can the local community adjust to contemporary design issues that they may not have experienced?
  • Who can be called upon to provide advice?

The study explores the design objectives, policy and roles of those involved in the process. Aspirations and potential design solutions to the questions are also illustrated. Whilst historic towns are the focus of this document, many of the issues are common to towns and cities that do not have historic cores.

Details of the project will be covered in the EHTF Seminar at CityScape on 1 March.

Mike Carr
Pegasus Urban Design