UDL Summary Report on
Ways to Intensify Suburbs
13th July 2016
1. London needs to build homes fast, but these need to work well with their neighbours and neighbourhoods. Using a variety of housing types we can successfully build in different suburban contexts, whether they are terraced streets, areas of semi-or-detached homes, or within and around town centres.
2. We can intensify through increments, taking opportunities to use land better but not radically change an area all at once. The structure of many suburbs means there are under used spaces (such as areas at the ends of terraces or between the backs of gardens) which could be intelligently used to provide more homes without destroying an area’s character.
3. We need to dovetail more homes with more services, assessing what is available and finding the most pragmatic places and ways to increase this in line with growing populations. Pressure on existing services is a sure way to create resistance for growth locally. By diversifying population mix and therefore varying the demand on services we can make facilities work harder and smarter.
4. Avoid intense sprawl. One of the downsides of suburbs is limited geographic access to services and a reliance on cars to get around. Having convenient access to a wide range of land uses will reduce journey times for cars and incentivise people to take alternative modes of transport, like cycling and walking.
5. We need to change suburbs so they do not look and feel like the car is king. If it is not visually clear that walking, cycling and public transport are the priority modes, people will be less likely to switch from the car. Improving the design, desire lines and safety of crossings, junctions and links for pedestrians and cyclists is a must.
6. To successfully plan for suburban intensification we need to use better geographic and connectivity assessment tools. New systems such as WebCAT allow us to measure and compare journey opportunities by time, route and mode alongside non transport service provision, catchment areas and the location of amenities. We should use such tools to intelligently plan for suburban intensification.
- Duncan Bowie, University of Westminster, The Challenges of Intensifying Existing Places
- Kat Hanna, Centre for London, Suburban Densification
- Julia Park, Levitt Bernstein, Models of Intensification
- Adrian Cole, SDG, Transport and Access Requirements for Development in Suburban Areas
- Bruce McVean, TfL, Supporting Pedestrians
- Brian Deegan, TfL, Radial Cycle Network Improvements
- George Weeks & Aliasgar Inayathusein, TfL, WebCAT Model
- Harriet Glen, Crossrail 2, Autonomous Vehicles in Suburban London and Exercise