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Urban research

Understanding human behaviour within the built environment is a complex task that requires a variety of analytic tools. Our urban research focusses on GIS-based socio-economic and spatial analysis, urban scenario testing and place-based field research.

Northumberland Park

We were commissioned, alongside muf architecture/art and Gort Scott, to develop an urban design framework for Northumberland Park, to enable a resident-led vision for regeneration. Options co-designed with residents will set the case for delivering new and improved homes, social infrastructure, and public realm improvements.

Northumberland Park has suffered both fast and slow violence in recent years; the retracted 2015 Haringey Development Vehicle masterplan that proposed almost whole-sale demolition of the existing council stock, and a subsequent lack of alternatives or meaningful maintenance since. The post-war ‘estate’ contains a high amount of one and two-bed homes, now increasingly unsuitable and over-crowded for its tenants. Exacerbated by baked-in design flaws of the 1960’s blocks, and sometimes dysfunctional urban realm, the area suffers from high rates of crime and anti-social behaviour.

We employed extensive data mapping in order to quantify various quality benchmarks including distribution of building overcrowding, provision of fresh food sources, and accessibility to different types of open space. Combined with intensive field surveys and stakeholder engagement, we identified specific improvements in the movement and open space networks, whilst providing a robust evidence base for the overall regeneration of the estate. The evidence base was integral in connecting resident priorities with global issues across the site, in particular showing the extent of the interventions needed to address both.