One of the most salient points Robert makes, and there are so many, is that there is a need to break free from the artificial barriers that disciplines construct around themselves and to collaborate to create the future spaces that are designed for people above all
Robert has been a keen supporter of the Mapping the Underworld project that was spearheaded by Birmingham University, which considers the constraints and opportunities of designing around underground services and utilities. Details of this project can be found here.
Strategic Urban Design is the phrase Robert coins at the end of this penetrating analysis of the state of urban design and the potential for the discipline to adapt to shape the future of our built environment. It seems that we all have our part to play in developing this overarching strategy, creating engineering solutions and technologies to balance the needs of progress with the absolute necessity of ensuring future spaces include trees, sustainable urban drainage, spaces for all uses and that people are designed into rather than out of new and retrofit schemes.
A link can be found to the UDG website and their manifesto here.
It was an immense pleasure to speak with the Director of the Urban Design Group, Robert Huxford. Robert and the wider UDG team, including their patrons have worked tirelessly for the past forty years to raise the awareness of the importance of urban design and to engage disciplines from engineering to landscape architecture in the advancement of quality places.