The research also included a review of the various philosophies of urban design to assist in defining the criteria. The results and outcomes from the research were clear and definitive: there is little criteria shared by the trilogy.
While preparing this submission I was reminded that the source of the term “trilogy” is the concept of “faith, hope and charity” and easily translates into community, designers and authorities. The results of my research can be graphically represented by the diagram below. The overlaps represent the synergies and shared criteria of community and the authorities and design professionals dealing with building interventions. While it is simplistic to represent the results as shown, it is a fair approximation.
What then can be done to redress this unacceptable situation. My conclusions are that there must be more communication and education for the trilogy. Without question the community is entitled to a quality public realm. A process must be put in place to enlighten people as to quality environments, by example. Communities once exposed to good urban design will expect and then demand better public realm outcomes from their authorities and the design professionals. For the architects and the planners, training through their further professional education requirements would at least enable them to appreciate the need for consideration of the issues of urban design and engender co-operation with urban designers.
My current research topic involves “enlightened self-interest”, and expands on methods of obtaining good urban design. The theory I wish to test is the goal of finding the ultimate potential for a city or settlement, and then making plans enabling the achievement of those goals. Having a realisable pragmatic goal would assist planners and designers (and local government) to make decisions for their city based upon tested and accepted goals for future urban development. I argue that urban design guidelines today are more often about the past, rather than the future. Consider the numerous examples where design guidelines are changed due to unexpected outcomes. With this a decision, often politically motivated, is made to reduce height or floor space or other aspects in instruments to obtain a remedy. I posit that by establishing the potential for cities and regions considering all facets such as economy, production and supply, amenity and sustainability enables a solid unarguable background against which decisions can be made.
The community, when educated to understand the ultimate achievable benefits, will realise their potential. (enlightened self-interest). They can do this by using a robust set of urban design guidelines based upon their unique potential. The guidelines would be a powerful tool for rationalist outcomes.