Reports and Guides

house-of-lordsBuilding Better Places (2016)

House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment (Specialist Advisor, Matthew Carmona)

I had the great privilege of being Specialist Advisor to this Committee of Parliament, and this is the report that resulted.  The report sets out the conclusions from a wide ranging review of national and local policy relating to the built environment and argues that policy should begin with a focus on place and that Government should be more ambitious and directive in its aspirations for a high quality built environment.

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design-codingDesign Coding, Diffusion of Practice in England (2013)

Matthew Carmona, Valentina Giordano, for the Urban Design Group

This focussed piece of analysis followed up, seven years later, on research relating to design coding in England, see: Design Coding in Practice and Preparing Design Codes (below).  It aimed to explore how far the practices explored during the earlier study had diffused into practice in England and concluded that in many areas the production of design codes had become mainstreamed.

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space-standards-the-benefitsSpace Standards, The Benefits (2010)

Matthew Carmona, Nick Gallent, Reetuparna Sarkar, for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)

This was one of the final pieces of research commissioned by CABE prior to their funding being withdrawn.  It looked at the question of internal space standards within new build dwellings and compared practice in the UK with international experience.  From this the benefits of investing in higher internal space standards were extrapolated.

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high-street-londonHigh Street London (2010)

Matthew Carmona, Miles Davis, Fiona Scott, Jay Gort, Mellis Haward, for the London Development Agency (LDA)

This project, commissioned by Design for London, explored the structure and use of London’s local high street network.  The project aimed to examine the potential of this network of mixed streets to accommodate future growth and intensification in London in a more sustainable fashion than had hitherto been achieved by focusing on large brownfield sites.  The report was later published in Progress in Planning, see Selected articles: London’s Local High Streets

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locan-environment-qoualityLocal Environmental Quality, A New View on Measurement (2007)

Matthew Carmona & Claudio de Magalhaes, for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

This project for the UK government examined, at a conceptual level, how policy-makers could measure local environmental quality and their contribution (through public services) to achieving it in a non-distortionary manner.  It offered a new view that moved away from the over-simplistic application of key performance indicators that had come to dominate in the late 1990s and 2000s.

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monitoring-outcome-qoualityMonitoring Outcome Quality in Planning, Challenges and Possibilities (2007)

Matthew Carmona, for the Town & Country Planning Association

This thought-piece represented the culmination of a long-term interest in the measurement of outcome quality in British planning.  It reflects on, and attempts to overcome, the dominant practice at the time whereby those issues that can be measured, e.g. speed of processing applications, are prioritised, and those which are more challenging to measure, e.g. quality of outcomes, are not.  For a more comprehensive discussion see books: Measuring Quality in Planning

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preparing-design-codesPreparing Design Codes, Practice Manual (2006)

Matthew Carmona, Jane Dann, for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

This practice guide was commissioned by the Government as the culmination of research published in Design Coding in Practice (see below).  As well as exploring best practice, the guide also provides a rationale for using design codes, and a detailed methodology for their production.

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design-code-in-practiceDesign Coding in Practice, An Evaluation (2006)

Matthew Carmona, Jane Dann, for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

This research report followed on from an 18 month Government funded design coding pilot programme in which action research was used to explore the potential and utility of design codes in England.  The research reports on seven pilots, and twelve other design coding case studies that were more advanced in their delivery of new housing.

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offices-value-and-designOffices, Value and Design, A Discussion Document (2006)

Matthew Carmona, Claudio de Magalhaes, Michael Edwards, Louie Sieh, for the British Council of Offices

This report focuses on developing a more robust method for measuring the value added by better design within the office market.  It explores the literature and existing studies and conceptualises a new methodology that could be applied in the future.  The discussion is largely conceptual and methodological in nature.

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cabeMaking Design Policy Work, How to Deliver Good Design Through Your Local Development Framework (2005)

Matthew Carmona for Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)

This practice guide took earlier work – see From Design Policy to Design Quality (see below) – and updated it in the light of evolving practice in the production of design policies for development plans.  It presents a simple framework of key lessons concerning how to optimise such policies in order to maximise their potential as a tool to aid the delivery of better design through the planning process.

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smaller-towns-reportThe Smaller Towns Report, Delivering a Retail-led Renaissance in Towns and Smaller Cities (2004)

Matthew Carmona, Claudio de Magalhaes, Joanna Hammond, for the British Council of Shopping Centres

At a time when huge investments were being made in new retail developments in large cities, this research explored the potential of smaller towns, and how retail might be used as part of a regeneration strategy.  It argued for a differentiated offer from place to place and that smaller towns needed to think carefully and strategically about how to attract shoppers by offering something different from their larger competitors.

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is-the-grass-greenerIs the Grass Greener … ? Learning from International Innovations in Urban Green Space Management (2004)

Matthew Carmona, Claudio de Magalhaes, for CABE Space

This project brought together eleven detailed case studies from around the world that explored innovation in how green spaces were being managed.  It then compared the practices to the experience in the UK to see what lessons could be learned.  This work and other public spaces research was later published in book form, see Books: Public Space, The Management Dimension

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the-value-of-public-spaceThe Value of Public Space, How High Quality Parks and Public Spaces Create Economic, Social and Environmental Value (2004)

Helen Woolley, Matthew Carmona, Jonathan Freeman, Sian Rose, for CABE Space

This report builds on the earlier study – The Value of Good Design (see below) – to provide a compendium of research with a focus on how investing in the quality of public spaces could in turn deliver long-term economic, social, health and environmental benefits for society. The intention was to provide the evidence policy makers needed to support their arguments for investing in public space.

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living-places-caring-forLiving Places, Caring for Quality (2004)

Matthew Carmona, Claudio de Magalhaes, Ruth Blum, Leo Hammond, for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM)

Commissioned by Government, this practice guide focussed on the much neglected issue of how public spaces could be better managed.  It explores the dominant management practices of the time and sets out a practical agenda for a more enlightened approach to management based around better coordination, better investment, better regulation and the better maintenance of public spaces.

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from-design-policy-to-design-qoualityFrom Design Policy to Design Quality, The Role of Design Policies in Community Strategies, Local Development Frameworks and Action Plans (2002)

Matthew Carmona, John Punter, David Chapman, for the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

This practice guide took the lessons from research conducted in the 1990s – see Books: The Design Dimension of Planningto explore the role and potential of design policies in development plans, suitably updated in the light of the legislative changes effecting plan making under the New Labour government.  It presents key lessons for the writing of design policies through a step by step easy to follow methodology.

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the-value-of-good-designThe Value of Good Design (2002)

Matthew Carmona, Sarah Carmona, Wendy Clarke, for Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)

This report was a first attempt to bring together published evidence on how design adds value to different types of development: in healthcare, education, housing, and business settings; and to increasing civic pride and reducing crime.  It presents a compendium of this evidence in a manner that, it was hoped, would allow policy makers and others to use the evidence in order to justify to politicians, developers and others, the need for a greater and more sustained investment in design.

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scanWorking Together, A Guide for Planners and Housing Providers (2001)

Matthew Carmona, Sarah Carmona, Nick Gallent, for the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Commissioned by the RTPI, this practice guide focuses on the critical relationship between planners and the providers of new homes: both market and social housing providers.  It argues for greater communication and for a consensus based approach, and advances a set of practical lessons in order to achieve this.  The thinking was later greatly extended and developed in book form, see Books: Delivering New Homes

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valueThe Value of Urban Design (2001)

Matthew Carmona, Claudio de Magalhaes, Michael Edwards, for Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)

This was the first research project commissioned by CABE and had a huge impact on their work programme thereafter.  It empirically tested how design adds economic, social and environmental value through using a method of pairwise comparison of six office developments in three sub-markets around England.  The research concluded, empirically for the first time in the UK, that better urban design adds significant value to new development.

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living-placesLiving Places, Urban Renaissance in the South East (2000)

Nick Falk, Matthew Carmona, Chris Cadell, Peter Hall, for the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR)

This study, jointly with URBED, aimed to identify how the urban renaissance agenda of the Urban Task Force could apply to the sorts of smaller towns and cities that dominated the South East of England outside of London.  It provided a practical guide to strategies for bringing a renaissance to these smaller places.

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