Mid-Year Review 2013

AoU Mid-Year Review & Reception
Identifying Trends in Masterplanning

17 July 2013
The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ
3.30 – 6.30pm (Review)
6.30 – 8.30pm (Reception)

Hosted by Alan Baxter Associates

Join fellow Academicians to review the Academy’s recent activities and find out more about getting involved with programmes such as the Regions and Nations network and summer assessment visits. We are delighted to be joined by Robert Adam AoU, Director of Adam Architecture, who will lead us through his ongoing research on trends in masterplanning, followed by a group discussion.

We will then take to the rooftop for a reception hosted by Alan Baxter Associates. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow Academicians. If you can’t make the Review, please consider joining us for the evening Reception.

RSVP for both Review and Reception to Stephen Gallagher.


Steven Bee, Director of the Academy, on Robert Adam’s talk:

Masterplans are an established tool in the practice of urban planning. Most of us will have used the term, and probably been involved in preparing, using, evaluating or challenging masterplan, in a variety of contexts. Difficulties can arise however when the purpose, practice or outcomes are debated among people and agencies who may have different attitudes, aspirations and expectations.

Like many terms that we use on a regular basis, a general understanding of the term may prove inadequate when we try to establish objectives and performance criteria among all the interests involved in the practice of masterplanning. This difficulty is often compounded by the diversity of values we bring to the process and by which we try to define and justify what we aim to achieve. Semantic and other differences can get in the way of mutual understanding, leading to frustration, delay and disenchantment with what should be a way of aligning diverse interests.

The research carried out by Robert Adam AoU and Claire Jamieson marks an important step in the practice of masterplanning and is based on a review of literature and a large number of masterplans. The results offer a taxonomy of masterplan types and a means of defining and describing their physical characteristics. This provides an objective baseline explanation of the physical nature of a particular plan to which participants can refer when attempting to reconcile their expectations. This avoids value-laden terms and provides a basis for testing the non-physical performance of a masterplan in social, political, economic, environmental, regulatory and ideological contexts.

The presentation will be followed with an opportunity to discuss the contribution of the method to the practice of masterplanning in the wider urbanism context.

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