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Lord Rogers backs new Urban Design Compendium

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Lord Rogers of Riverside was today due to launch the Urban Design Compendium, an extensive new bestpractice guide aimed at forging better architecture, commissioned by government regeneration agency English Partnerships (EP) and the Housing Corporation.

Rogers was set to give a launch address on the new 122-page compendium, which has been prepared by Llewelyn-Davies and Alan Baxter and Associates, at a press event at the Tate Modern - the centre of an area his practice is set to masterplan (AJ 27.7.00). The choice of Rogers is also appropriate in that the new compendium is intended to flow directly from Rogers' feted Urban Task Force findings and aims to provide accessible advice for developers on all aspects of the design process.

Sir Alan Cockshaw, chairman of EP, said the document was intended to follow its earlier well-received publications, Time for Design 1 and Time for Design 2 and reinforce the message that quality architecture pays dividends: 'We have argued that good design does not cost more than mediocre design over the lifetime of a development, ' he said. 'For a relatively small additional input of time, care, thought and resource, good design creates buildings and spaces that sustain enhanced values over time and can contribute to the marketability of any scheme.'

The compendium includes advice on density ('urban density does not mean town cramming'), energy efficiency, landscape, landmarks, transport and access, building sizes ('medium rise is the optimum form') and public realm. There is also a series of examples from the UKand abroad, including the controversial EP-backed Greenwich Millennium Village, where it says 1377 dwellings have been divided into small horseshoeshaped 'gossip groups'of 30-50 houses to foster a sense of community and safety. In addition, a section on 'The Fundamentals' can be downloaded from the Internet

(www.englishpartnerships.co.uk).

The free compendium is also intended to sit with the recently published report by the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, By Design.

And, in a flurry of new guidance material on the built environment from central government, construction minister Beverley Hughes said last week that a further report, on the layout of residential developments will be published next year.

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