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Urban Challenges

1. Rapid urban population growth 

More than half of the population,

3.3 billion, live in urban areas, by 2030, this is expected to be 5 billion.

2. Rise of megacities 

Urban centres are increasing in size and number. At the beginning of the last century, there were only 11 megacities by 2030, UN predicts that there will be more than 500 cities

3. Resources

Cities need resources such as water, food and energy to be viable.

Urban sprawl reduces available water catchment areas, agricultural lands and increases demand for energy,

Many cities will continue to struggle to provide these resources to an ever-growing urban population.

4. Environmental Threats

Rapid urbanization coupled with more frequent and extreme weather events linked to global climate change is exacerbating the impact of environmental threats; flooding, tropical cyclones , heat waves etc.


5. Infrastructure and Services

Growing cities require substantial investments in infrastructure if they are to continue expanding at their present rate

6. Inequality

The widening gap between the haves and have-nots will be accentuated

Inequalities will destabilize society and upend any benefits of urban development.

There is a critical need for policy-makers to ensure that the fruits of progress are shared equitably.

7. Housing

Housing is a particular and ubiquitous challenge in search of an innovative solution. From San Francisco to Addis Ababa, the pressure to supply affordable housing is reaching critical status.

8. Governance

Cities are global economic engines and the economic powerhouses of the global economy.

85% of global GDP was generated in cities. Increased competition between cities for talent, investment and firms.

Globally mobile world is making places where people really want and choose to live. While cities’ primary draw has traditionally been employment opportunities, people are now attracted by the quality of life a city offers

The Vision

The Approaches 

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1. Compact

Promote high density with mixed land uses based on an efficient public transport system which encourages walking and cycling

Density & Intensity

Ensure that the building form and intensity of development create diversity of attractions


Promote higher densities around TOD’s(Transport Orinated Development) with mixed land uses


Networks & Districts

Enrich and combine different networks with urban densities

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2. Connect

Recognize how networks connect and support healthy neighbourhood

Walking & Cycling

Encourages walking and cycling centred around local neighbourhood based within a 10-minute walk

Open Space

Promote higher densities around TOD’s(Transport Orinated Development) with mixed land uses

Smart City

Implement Smart City technology in urban settings to make cities work more efficiently

3. Context

Recognize buildings, places and spaces as part of entire built environment

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Cultural Identity

Acknowledge and build on cultural identity, landscape context and built form.

Public Realm

Maintain and enhance the public realm to provide a safe, high quality and inclusive places.


Consider the wellbeing of the people who live and work within and around the development

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4. Choice

Guarantee variety and choice for citizens

Mixed Use

Ensure that the building form and intensity of development create diversity of attractions

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Adaptable Environ

Ensure developments are flexible and adaptable and continue to be in demand over a long period of time


Inclusive Design

Guarantees the built environment are accessible to age groups and the disabilities

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5. Character

Reveal and enrich the distinguishing charm and culture of the place, making it function long during the day.

Character Areas

Reflect and enhance the distinctive character, heritage and identity of the urban environment

Town Centres & High Streets

Create locally suitable and stimulating Town Centre and High Street

Night Time Economy

Creativity nurture the city to function 24/7; cultivate the night time economy

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6. Creativity

Foster creative and innovative approaches


Incorporate public art into buildings, spaces and places to enrich the experience of the urban environments

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Local  Heritage

Explore, interpret and reinterpret the local heritage in dynamic ways.

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Cultural Viewpoints

Integrate diverse cultural viewpoints

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7. Custodianship

Diminish the environmental impacts on the built environment through sustainable and responsive design

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Climate Change

Mitigate the effects of climate change and man-made hazard and adapt to the changing environment

Circular Economy

Safeguards character, cultural heritage and ensure sustainability using the Circular Economy

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Renewable Energy

Integrates renewable energy sources, reduce CO2 emissions, increase biodiversity and exploit ‘green’ technology.

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8. Cooperation

Maintain good communication and share information across different groups



Breakdown the silos of Planning, Landscape, Architecture, Construction and Engineering and share knowledge

Community Engagement

Include the local community in the decision making processes

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Acknowledge and develop further research and training in urban design at national, regional and local levels

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