Environmental: Intensification and Resources

Density with quality brings proximity and diversity and delivers real innovation. We can begin to think of the city itself being engine of growth, both where growth happens, and where people come together.

We started off with the idea that if we are going to have ever more density, it has to be done well. There is lots of experience over the last century of density done badly which has resulted in social, physical and environmental degradation.

If you look at the great projects, there has been a huge amount of cross-disciplinary working. Yet, although we talk about thinking holistically, what we tend to do is work in silos.

Secondly, we tend to focus on input, rather than the outcomes that we are looking for. Projects that succeed are those that have the right values at the beginning, yet it is easy to think too much about viability and the cost, rather than about place and whole-life value.
To try to break down that kind of thinking in our Environmental salon, we challenged the participants to create physical links within a structure between different aspects of the environment, both resource based - energy, water, waste and materials - and those related to place - air quality, noise, daylight. This set the scene for the participants to consider, from an environmental point of view, all the issues that create a successful or unsuccessful place.

Through discussion of the issues, trends and examples of specific site conditions, a series of principles for successful environments were drawn up.
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Click here to see the salon participants