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Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103

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Urban design, regeneration and the entrepreneurial city
Mike Biddulph *
School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University, Glamorgan Building, Kind Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA, United Kingdom

Abstract
This paper explores whether and how forms of entrepreneurial governance effecting deprived regions of the UK have embraced
urban design as a necessary and distinctive feature of regeneration efforts. It applies established theory and thinking to work
completed in the city centre of Liverpool since the late 1990s. The article examines the economic and governance context through
which new forms of urban design policy and guidance have emerged, and discusses whether and how they have been applied to
developments emerging across the centre.
The case has embraced an urban design agenda and this can firmly be attributed to entrepreneurial forms of governance, although
the attributes of the built form sometimes credited to such places were not so evident. Principles embedded in policy and guidance
have dovetailed with substantive thinking within urban design and can be recognised in significant projects. Whilst there should be a
concern for the privatisation of the public realm generally, issues such as gentrification and a more general concern for placelessness
are overstated. Iconic forms of development have not materialised. Forms of over development, such as tall buildings, have been
moderated by policy and guidance. Large scale projects can be designed to fit into and enhance the fabric of the city when urban
design thinking is clearly embraced by partners. Established critiques of the relationship between urban design and entrepreneurial
forms of governance have not always explored the multiple meanings and discourses that the built environment can contain, but
where urban design is concerned the discussion must at least embrace the criteria urban designers themselves employ to design
schemes or judge the results.
# 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Urban design; Design control; Aesthetic control; Liverpool; Entrepreneurial governance; Urban regeneration; Urban renewal; Urban
renaissance; Competitive cities

Contents
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6.

Urban design, regeneration and the entrepreneurial city . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Urban design and the entrepreneurial city . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Urban design principles and public policy in the UK since 1997 . . . . . . . . . . .
Liverpool’s relevant socio-economic, design and development trends until 1997
Urban design and entrepreneurialism in Liverpool after 1997 . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.1. Governance for design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.2. Design policy, strategies and guidance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Recent developments in Liverpool 1999–2008. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1. The significant urban design projects in Liverpool City Centre . . . . . . .
6.2. Liverpool One . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +44 029 2087 6293; fax: +44 029 2087 4845.
E-mail address: BiddulphMJ@cardiff.ac.uk.
0305-9006/$ – see front matter # 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.progress.2011.08.001

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M. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103

6.3. Rope Walks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.4. The Fourth Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.5. Old Hall Street. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Entrepreneurial governance and urban design in Liverpool .
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1. Urban design, regeneration and the
entrepreneurial city
Forms of entrepreneurial governance effecting
deprived regions of the UK have embraced urban
design as a necessary and distinctive feature of
regeneration efforts in such places (Hubbard, 1995,
1996). But what have been the consequences of such a
trend? Using the distinction between writing about
urban design and writing for urban design (Cuthbert,
2006), this article explores the connections between
what urban designers might be trying to achieve in their
work, and the role and consequences attributed to them
and their outputs when discussed by others.
Knox (2011, p. 157) refers to ‘‘. . .the Janus-faced
condition of the urban design professions. . .’’ who
might claim to be working for environmental quality
and meeting social need, but who can only do this by
planning for competitive accumulation. He notes (p.
129) how ‘‘contemporary cities, mostly a product of the
political economy of the manufacturing era, have been
thoroughly remade in the image of consumer society.
Design professionals have to adapt to a neoliberal
political economy in which progressive notions of
public interest and civil society have been all but set
aside.’’ It is useful to compare writing about urban
design such as this with the limited literature from
within urban design, both theoretically and from within
policy, to explore whether and how these views of urban
design dovetail and how they diverge.
These issues are explored through a discussion of
some of the significant developments in the city centre
of Liverpool in the north west of England. This allows
for an exploration of the thinking with reference to a
particular place where entrepreneurial forms of governance have prevailed over recent years.
The empirical work is based on a number of
interrelated sources of information. A formal review
was undertaken of recent documents relating to national
and local regeneration, planning and design policy and
guidance. These documents provide useful facts,
highlight biases and stress the public intentions of
the national and local governments, other public sector

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organisations, and sometimes the individuals involved
in the city. Three site visits allowed reflection on the
developments of the last decade. These involved
systematically walking the streets and comparing the
qualities of the environments with published objectives
and comments, but also national principles of urban
design. Twelve extended interviews were also undertaken with people closely associated with design and
development in the city. These interviews provided a
sense of roles and responsibilities in relation to a whole
range of interrelated design and development initiatives,
whilst judgements about successes and failures were
also shared. Finally the findings have been discussed in
seminars with practitioners and academics in the city on
two occasions. These allowed the quality of the
information and views of development to be tested
and debated.
Initially previous thinking about the relationship
between entrepreneurial governance and urban design
practices will be discussed to provide a context to the
case. Then the paper will review the roles that urban
designers themselves have rightly or wrongly adopted
or feel that they have adopted. The ideas in these two
areas of literature will be combined to provide a
framework through which we can understand and
discuss the case, and the relevance of the thinking to it.
Then there is a discussion of the case and general
themes and issues emerging from the experience of the
city. In the end the work returns to discuss how this case
might help us understand the role of urban design within
a regeneration context.
2. Urban design and the entrepreneurial city
Hubbard (1996, p. 1441) suggests that ‘‘. . .the focus
of much urban governance is no longer the provision of
services to city residents, but a concern with the
prosperity of the city and its ability to attract jobs and
investment.’’ This might be an overstatement but urban
governments do deploy new or additional tactics to
attract inward investment whilst attempting to maintain
other areas of social service provision. For example, the
urban environment is conceptually commodified with

M. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103

policy makers mimicking actors in other competitive
markets, appropriating the city and treating it as their
product which they are at liberty to sell. There is a
naturalisation of market logics as local growth coalitions
formed from amongst land owners, business leaders
and local government representatives re-evaluate their
cities, and scan their competitors for best practices and
initiatives to maintain or improve their competitive
standing, focussing on what some regard as a narrow
urban policy repertoire (Hall & Hubbard, 1998; Hubbard,
1995, 1996; Peck & Tickell, 2002).
Swyngedouw, Moulaert and Rodriguez describe how
contemporary urban development must ‘‘. . .stand the
tests imposed by a global and presumably liberal world
order.’’ It is argued that new urban spaces and the
meanings associated with them are recreated therefore,
not for impoverished local people, but for ‘‘. . .the
outsider, the investor, developer, businesswoman or –
man, or the money-packed tourist’’ (Swyngedouw et al.,
2002, pp. 550–551).
Gospodini (2002) refers to this as the new use for
urban design, as cities of varying size and therefore
influence polish up and repackage their built environments to attract the higher value industries and
individuals who can now thrive economically in many
locations. Whereas in the past the quality of the built
environment was a by-product of economic development, today it is seen to be a prerequisite for it.
A number of concepts related to design and
development have been discussed. Evans (2003) refers
to hard branding written into the form of the city
through a combination of tactics like flagship developments (stadia/museums/opera houses/theatres),
redeveloped public spaces, festivals and events, whilst
suggesting a homogenisation or placelessness (Relph,
1976) resulting from such tactics, as different cities
adopt the same strategies (see also Turok, 2009).
Interestingly accusations of placelessness or standardisation might be directed to the history of urban
development more generally, and most particularly to
the later development projects of the modernist, fordist
or managerial era. Fainstein (2008) and Lehrer and
Laidley (2008) point out a recent tendency towards
‘‘mega’’ projects such as convention centres or
consumption oriented shopping and leisure environments (casinos, hotels, cinemas) located back within
devalorised city centre locations. Examples such as the
Renaissance Centre in Detroit have no real direct
comparators in Europe, although some general development mixes might be echoed. They are criticised for
their standard mix of uses and their bulky and
somewhat alien forms which ignore or even break up

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the fine relationships which might otherwise exist in an
established centre. They are also criticised for their
introverted and exclusive forms which can isolate
themselves physically from their immediate contexts,
and due to their scale, move activity patterns to serve
the interests of uses on the inside, whilst failing to
spread a regenerative effect to neighbouring streets and
spaces. In many respects urban design as a public policy
agenda in the UK has been established to overcome
such forms of development, at least in physical and
functional terms.
Authors discuss a tendency towards iconic architecture designed by signature architects (starchitecture)
(Knox, 2011) in pursuit of the Bilbao effect; the use
made of the new Guggenheim Museum to not only add a
museum to Bilbao, but also rebrand the city (and/or
Basque identity) internationally (Klingmann, 2007;
McNeill, 2000, 2009). Much has also been made of the
use of spectacle (Baudrillard, 1994; Debord, 1994),
scenographic strategies and theming. Some argue that
such strategies pervade all shopping and leisure
environments (Sorkin, 1992) driven by a concern for
the consumer experience and what Pine and Gilmore
(1999) call the experience economy; a process of both
meeting and exceeding consumer expectations through
a totally managed experience, gilded with post-modern
architecture or notions of urbanism (Jencks, 1978;
Punter, 1988; Venturi et al., 1977). They are part of a
subtle strategy to not merely make these buildings or
places more contextually acceptable (through the use of
historic motifs), familiar or even fun to people, but also
to in some way manipulate and depoliticise people.
Boyer (1993, p. 119), for example, argues that ‘‘. . .[t]he
new language of urban design follows formulas
established by advertising and provides invented
models of reality, seldom disguising their artifice. The
city these spaces represent is filled with a magical and
exciting allure, landscapes of pleasure intentionally
separated from the city’s more prosaic or threatening
mean streets. Controlled by the rules and values of the
market system, these places offer a diet of synthetic
charm that undermines critical evaluation.’’ Hubbard
(1995) mines Harvey’s (1989a, 1989b) discussion of
entrepreneurialism to critique the development of a 5
star hotel, public realm projects and the building of a
convention centre in Birmingham. They are evidence of
the city and its elites manipulating the population into
accepting de-industrialisation and distracting them
from any ‘‘. . .serious discussion of the ability of
entrepreneurial policies to bring about an urban
renaissance’’ (p. 250). Can these discrete developments
really be charged with the responsibility of reversing the

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M. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103

consequences of deindustrialisation? Interestingly the
discussion moves to the surface qualities or the shallow
nature of these interventions and urban design work
generally (Bell & Jayne, 2003) with the suggestion that
‘‘[t]here is a danger that the re-imaging of the urban
environment may act as a ‘carnival mask’ that distract
from more serious social issues, and serves the needs of
investors and local elites at the expense of local
residents’’ (p. 251). The outcomes of urban design are
presented as important and worthy of discussion, but
possibly shallow or distracting.
Problems are also seen to emerge when contemporary pastiche or historicist developments challenge any
notion of what is genuinely old and authentic. Hubbard
suggests that ‘‘. . .past styles and icons are recycled and
combined in a form that alludes to local context and
history. Design strategies of allusionism, contextualism
and vernacularism have all been seized upon by
developers in an attempt to stress the distinctiveness
and character of the city. . .’’ although such strategies
are regarded as subversive in that they ‘‘. . .mobilise
meaning in favour of supporting existing social
structures’’ (1996, p. 1445). Neo-traditional developments (sometimes conflated with New Urbanism more
generally) fall into this category, as through historic
building forms and styles they ‘‘.deploy a sanitised and
mythologised past in invoking identity and community. . .’’ (Knox, 2011, p. 149) where there is no
guarantee of either.
Genuine heritage is also commodified, and loses
authenticity as conservation work and heritage designations fall into and are embraced by the critique.
Harvey (1989a) quotes Hewison (1987) who discusses
the desire to preserve the past because of a nostalgic
impulse during a period of great social change, and what
Harvey sees as an obsession with identity which he
explains as due to insecurity in labour markets. Historic
environments are, however, not merely appreciated for
their quality, future use value and distinctive character.
McGuirk et al. (1998, p. 126) discuss how in Newcastle,
in New South Wales the ‘‘[l]ocal identity, made up of
convict heritage, working class roots and industrial
legacy, is all being glossed over in an attempt to present
the city as a slick retail and recreation location.’’ This is
a very common critique of place making where
architecture and urban design strategies are aligned
explicitly with place marketing (Griffiths, 1998) in an
attempt to attract, for example, tourists.
If urban design is seen as a mechanism to attract
certain social groups back to devalorised city spaces,
it can also be seen as complicit in any resulting
displacement of established residents and a decline in

available affordable housing. Gentrification leads to a
contested notion of regeneration, because alone it is not
evidence of improvement to the material well being of
the most deprived people, whilst gentrification processes are often associated with a decline in the living
conditions of displaced people (Smith, 1996). The
gentrification literature is complex and beyond the
focus of this article (for an overview, see Lees et al.,
2008), but governments now work with private partners
to facilitate gentrification as property led regeneration
comes to represent or define what urban regeneration is
(Bianchini et al., 1992; Healey et al., 1992; Imrie &
Thomas, 1993; Turok, 1992). Urban design work is
most evident where local authorities use resources and
powers to shape or facilitate the structure and character
of the urban form between otherwise discrete developments. These environments have market value. They
are in demand and so property values increase, and
established residents may no longer be able to afford to
live there.
Duany (2001, p. 38) emphasises the close link
between the pursuit of urban design quality and its
gentrification impacts in his bullish advocacy of the
phenomena: ‘‘. . .the most sure-fire technique for
permanently preventing gentrification is to provide
dismal architectural and urban design.’’ He argues that
it is a measure of the success of contemporary urbanism
and urban design thinking and practice that marks it as
distinct from what some might regard as the limited
lifestyle opportunities of suburbia, or the failures of
state sponsored modernism where many failed living
environments have already been demolished or remain
home to the urban poor.
Negative forms of development associated with
gentrification include secure and exclusive enclaves and
urban spaces. Gated or walled neighbourhoods are
indicative of a revanchist strategy and attempts to
protect property and property values from negative
externalities and in support of social homogeneity
(Madanipour, 2006; Punter, 2010b). Such outcomes are
not uncommon (see for example Punter, 2007) but are
they indicative of urban design effort or an absence of
concern, and are these forms exclusive to affluent
neighbourhoods? In Liverpool enclaves of low cost
housing near the city centre were developed to turn
away from neighbouring streets in the 1990s as a result
of the inhabitants’ own preferences and involvement.
Streets through these deprived neighbourhoods have no
frontage, reinforcing a poor image and sense of security
for members of the public who might walk here (Fig. 1).
Gated communities are criticised for the signals they
send out to or within neighbourhoods, but more

The history of urban design and development does not provide clear evidence of this. Her opinions pull together themes discussed above: ‘‘City centres which are designed purely with shopping and leisure in mind produce strangely ‘placeless’ places. significantly they can reduce accessibility or walkability and they can make streets and other neighbouring public spaces feel less safe (Landman.’’ She notes how popular they were with developers as they helped support a corporate milieu. This narrative of urban development is persuasive. although functionally many centres continue to turn their back on the townscape. protection. People make choices about where to go and what to like. The management of these spaces is critical. fragmentation. Loukaitou-Sideris (1993. Punter (1990a. Sometimes authors contrive to know the opinions of locals in their interpretations of styles and meanings. The history of shopping centre developments has its own evolution (see Coleman. but design is also to some extent complicit. and yet they move through and use these environments and they make links across a town that fit their needs and desires. She notes the contemporary trend towards the development of retail ‘‘malls without 67 walls’’. . to varying degrees. p. More subtle and complicated from an urban design point of view is the trend towards the privatisation of public space. 2008). management and control of new plazas over to the private sector (Barnett. p. 2006). Affordable enclave housing on Russell Street on the edge of the city centre. except at the key points of entry into the peak pedestrian flows. . Through the lens of entrepreneurialism design is also regarded as a veneer added to crude commercial spaces established to manipulate an expanding middle class. and points to private out-of-town and intown mall developments replacing or competing with traditional high streets. . . 10). 1. competing regionally and also locally for forms of investment which might sustain jobs within localities. . but pushed away more traditional features of public space such as plurality and diversity. criticism of contemporary developments tends to focus on a social justice agenda which links designed outcomes to wider social implications. p. Often discussions are based on a narrow set of projects which have limited local impacts. escapism. . The assumption is that cities are engaging in a global competition to attract investment. Sometimes the principle of developing local sites exclusively to meet the needs of local people goes unquestioned despite the history of urban development and urban life in which people often have little to do with many of the activities and uses in their neighbourhood or most certainly in the wider city where they live. image generation and manipulation of user behaviour. but Punter highlights the particular concerns of the early 1990s: ‘‘Exterior design has become more sympathetic in strictly visual terms. 2006. In the United States early forms of privatisation resulted from incentive zoning which passed the production. There is also an argument that if only we could get the power and politics right a better urban form would ultimately emerge through the process.M. Design itself is sometimes conflated with issues of ownership and management. Although often implicitly about urban designs. and which do not seem to be representative of all forms of development which might be occurring locally. 1974). . theme-park atmosphere which is a result of disconnection from the local environment’’ (Minton. Minton (2009) brings this discussion up to date. and argues that this is ‘‘.commonly the megastructures have walled off large parts of the town destroying the grain of the townscape and reducing the permeability of the town centre’’ (p. This highlights the limited extent to which the most deprived people within a city will benefit from physical regeneration schemes. . and talk-up their significance. 5). The general public are discussed as unknowing victims. orderliness and design rigidity. creating the impression of public space in new large scale in town developments which are privately owned and policed. and in particular trying to overcome the impacts of decentralisation of many jobs and services.’’ of new plazas emerging in Los Angeles during the 1980s. 9) notes a disinvestment in the public realm by local government. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. social filtering. cut off from their original wellsprings of local life and vitality. whilst ignoring the extent to which cities are.introversion. . 153) notes the ‘‘.in congruence with the objectives of control. characterised instead by a fake. but some aspects of it might be questioned or challenged.

English Partnerships. CABE. The literature also provides us with the basic ideas by which we might navigate the developments in Liverpool city centre. thinking and skill which have shaped urban design and development practices over recent decades. They note the ‘‘casual empiricism’’ (p. Cuthbert. whilst also denying or ignoring the development of understanding. but we could probe deeper. with car-dependent schemes containing few neighbourhood amenities or facilities. the recent thinking for urban design will be explored. comprehensive redevelopment and attempts to remodel cities to accommodate the car during post war years when local governments had the power and resources to instigate significant redevelopment of cities and also develop extensive schemes of social housing. 1992) emerged during the 1960s to essentially challenge two development trends. 2005. 259) in a concern for facadism and what it might mean or represent. 4). shifts in governance or power are another. In writing about urban design does this literature provide adequate insight into what urban designers are trying to or able to achieve. 3). 2000. 2000. 2007. 2003. Urban design principles and public policy in the UK since 1997 An Anglo-American urban design literature (for an overview see Carmona et al. In response a set of pragmatic design principles were developed in the UK which translated the emerging literature into an urban design agenda for practitioners. Manchester and Cardiff have been critiqued from the perspective of being a by-product of entrepreneurial forms of urban policy and civic boosterism (see in addition Gomez. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 so we must assume that in city centres in particular busy spaces are in part successful. Tibbalds. The most relevant presentation of these criteria is from By Design (CABE/Department of the Environment. might this significance be overstated? Ley and Mills (1993) point to the elitist posturing of theorists who account for. this is a very pragmatic set of principles or objectives. 1990b. how to help people find their way around. McNeill (1998. 1981. and are its consequences evident in the form of the city? To move the discussion on. 2000. H R H The Prince of Wales. or represent the masses without including them in their research. In city centres there were the impacts of modernism. Discussion seems to empty out or circumscribe what urban designers might be trying to achieve. 2003.. Punter. MacLeod. They are for example about how to move people about. where people can sit. developed and re-presented on numerous occasions since they emerged (Bentley et al. either in terms of the thinking through which they have emerged. 3. 2). A table lists the aspects of development which should be considered and judged in the public interest (Fig. or actually are they merely a distraction from the true nature of the place in which they sit? Although some writing speaks of the significance of urban design as a key mechanism for achieving certain regeneration goals. This guidance also explains the policy and guidance tools and procedures necessary to deliver the urban design agenda through the UK planning system (Fig. Moudon. Subsequently these principles have been debated. 1998. Birmingham. how to bring people together or keep them apart. In contrast to the earlier discussion. Punter. 1985. If there are flagship and iconic projects have they emerged instead of or in addition to other forms of development? Have these schemes been adequately contextualised. a national government document which presents a set of design objectives which reflect very clearly the Anglo-American agenda and stabilise the jargon in practice (Fig.’’ Recent developments in Glasgow. stand or stay. The good city would be embracing this design agenda and these tools and procedures to positive effect. or in relation to forms of development occurring more generally in the cities where they sit? Despite being visually prominent. In the suburbs there was the impact of volume house builders and highway engineers combining to destroy local and regional identity. Dramatic new buildings are one thing. does this also mean that they are socially or economically important. how to promote types of economic and social . but an over-reliance on the icons of urban change such as the heritage site or the waterfront development may overstate the case for transformation. 2002. Wansborough & Mageean. 2003). Williams.. They also refer to an implicit and mistaken view that the buildings and environments reproduce mechanically the social relations imputed to the culture (p. p. If we are to discuss the achievements of urban designers it is necessary to fully embrace their own agenda. 258). 2001). Obvious design themes are discussed. CABE/Department of the Environment. 1989. 242) starts to doubt some of the links being made by arguing that ‘‘[a] focus on the changing urban landscape can help dramatise accounts of economic and political transition.68 M. They wonder why critics typically fail to provide evidence of multiplier effects for the local economy or job creation statistics which might be attributed to projects directly or indirectly. Lynch. 2000). 2000.

and they do not translate directly into prescribed forms because design requires a range of trade offs and choices in any form of scheme. It has been argued that if schemes conform to these principles then they will be more popular and therefore more economically sustainable (CABE and Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 69 Fig. If urban designers try to create schemes which they feel conform to these principles. 2.M. or the form of buildings which might come to shape the public realm. They focus on how to design the public realm. how to create variety of form and use and therefore character or how to support natural processes. They are normative. activity. The objectives of urban design from By Design. why are development outcomes being interpreted and subsequently judged so . 2001).

Subsequently when we see a bit of the built environment which echoes the form or activity elsewhere. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. These concepts come to be meaningful and symbolise or represent something to us. and after it has been built through concepts which help us interpret its qualities and evaluate its impacts. differently. The aspects of development form from By Design. The semiotic triangle reminds us of the very indirect relationship between form and meaning (Fig. it comes to stand for a particular set . We understand it through design. 3. 5). There is nothing more real than the built environment.70 M.

followed by a review of how they materialise within schemes. policies and guidance is discussed. Liverpool became the main UK port linking the early industrialising region of North West England with North America. After the case has been Fig. We might suggest. Liverpool sits on the coast of England at the mouth of the Mersey estuary. 1973). however by economic decline. Population decline is partly planned and affected by New Town developments in nearby Skelmersdale and Runcorn. the general decline of UK manufacturing. Reflecting the economic success of the city in North Atlantic trade. The semiotic triangle and meaning derived from the built environment. of meanings. and in urban terms their positive impacts should spill over into neighbouring spaces. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 71 Fig. Following this the recent development of urban design practices. . its outcomes and how they are received are caricatured. 4. The case in Liverpool allows an exploration of how this writing about and for urban design might be applied to a specific context. p. Liverpool’s relevant socio-economic. 2003. 5. presented the discussion returns to reflect on how the forms of development have been shaped by entrepreneurial governance. was one of the great maritime commercial centres in the World’’ (Wilks-Heeg.[i]t is no exaggeration to say that by the mid-nineteenth century Liverpool. the introduction of containerisation and a shift in markets towards Europe saw a massive decline in demand for what tended to be . however. that well designed places should at least be well used. Policy and guidance tools and procedures necessary to deliver the urban design agenda through the UK planning system from By Design. Urban design. Initially the recent history of the city’s economy and built environment are briefly introduced. or whether and how it is some combination of both. 40). whether the slightly more prosaic urban design principles have prevailed.000 just before the start of World War 2. For the purposes of this paper we need to understand that the city has experienced a very turbulent decline. Once described as the second city of empire. Liverpool’s economic fortunes have been very well discussed previously. but if we try and really review the urban design qualities of schemes and their outcomes we are immediately confronted by the multiple criteria and interpretations which we should really embrace. 4. but also by wider forms of regional suburban development across neighbouring metropolitan boundaries and the growth of commuting.M. What is interesting is the somewhat narrow set of interpretations suggested by the literature about urban design which explores the relationship between urban design and entrepreneurialism. contracted in population size by about a half during the latter half of the 20th century. design and development trends until 1997 Located in the North West of England. with London and New York. Liverpool’s population had grown from 5000 at the beginning of the 1700s to a peak of 870. This provides a context to the discussion and tries to highlight how undeveloped a commitment to urban design was before 1997. Changes in patterns of global trade. It is most significantly fuelled. For an excellent history of the city see Belchem (2006). Decline in economic fortunes and population starts after the war. and has subsequently stabilised. . Such an understanding recognises that urban design problems are impossible to define clearly and consensually and therefore really solve (Rittel & Webber. Wilks-Heeg agrees with the Victorian Society who note that ‘‘.

It also limited the resources available to maintain street.000. a militant Labour council between 1983 and 1986 and a lengthy docker’s dispute over the casualisation of labour between 1995 and 1998. finance. and also pointed to a reasonable healthy Gross Value Added per head of population to the economy of £15. 6). These years of affluence created one of the UK’s richest architectural legacies discussed in Hughes (1964. The population of the city. This allowed central government to controversially wrestle land and planning controls from a militant left wing council. many historic warehouse buildings and a dock industry which still continues to the north of the city today. The period of renewal really starts following the riots in 1981 when the then Conservative central government established the Merseyside Development Corporation which took over ownership and planned the development of former dockland areas within Liverpool and in the neighbouring Wirral. but still below those of similar sized cities (Liverpool City Council.Liverpool [was] one of the UK’s fastest growing cities. It created the vast areas of derelict dockland. spaces and buildings. Other emerging sites and areas for regeneration are a product of the discredited post-war planning and design thinking. and following the infilling of St George Dock three of Liverpool’s most famous buildings were erected on the waterfront site: the Liver Building (1911) Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building (1916) collectively known as the Three Graces. public administration. In December 2003 ‘‘. 1999) and Sharples (2004). In 2007 the city continued to experience growth in jobs in banking. and channel funding directly to forms of development which it could endorse.530. At the turn of the century commercial architecture left its mark on the core of the city. The city suffered the racially affected Toxteth Riots in 1981. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 unskilled dock labour. A project for a new civic centre was planned but never undertaken and blighted an area around the former Queens Square. 2003. education and health sectors. a process of dock building that would ultimately result in the development of 39 docks. Many areas have been affected by the scale and also severing effects of highway management and construction which have disconnected streets and therefore neighbourhoods. With a current recession these are the sectors also most vulnerable to cuts.4% of jobs. and was fuelled by both public sector jobs and growth in the financial services sector. and unemployment down to 5%. insurance. With Welsh and Irish immigrants living in particularly poor conditions around the centre. These were all factors which contributed to a drying up of private investment in the city during the following decade as investors lost confidence. declined to about half its peak in just 60 years. During the period of modernisation and local authority influence comprehensive retail (St John’s shopping centre 1970 onwards) and public transport (Paradise Street Bus Station) schemes were forced into the city’s grain (Fig. . the affluent population gradually moved south east. away from the docks. such as St George’s Hall (1854). During World War II large areas of the docks and city centre were destroyed by bombing. with the lowest population recorded in 2001 of 440. . Recession hit the city harder than most other parts of the UK during the late 1970s and 1980s. Following the war comprehensive road building and city centre modernisation schemes were tabled and the city centre had a ring road partially established. The town grew quickly after trade was established with the colonies in North America. Central government regional policy initiatives from the 1960s saw the introduction of significant car manufacturing plants and other employers in the regions. however. The economic vulnerability of Liverpool’s economy is reflected in the City Council’s own reporting of economic trends over recent years. This is the period reflected in the discussion below. In the city centre the Victorian era was characterised by grand civic projects making their contribution to today’s stadtbild with a number of buildings and spaces of national significance. The Paradise Streets and Queens Square sites were even affected by how bus movements have been managed in the city. Liverpool’s built environment is a product of its mercantile past but its recent qualities are closely tied to its economic fortunes but also and importantly shaped by technological. and established grand Georgian terraces in Canning and Abercrombie. 2003). The renovation of Albert Dock became the . and subsequent Victorian suburbs. It led to the development of poorer quality buildings across the city centre. planning and architectural trends and thinking. 1) with an increase of 4.72 M. and this growth accelerated after the first dock was built in 1715. p. This growth has not been sustained. Consequentially a combination of factors shapes the emergence of sites that would be redeveloped and regenerated in the late 1980s and 1990s. all being built in short succession. 2007). particularly in the city’s governance (Meegan. growing faster in recent years than other English Core Cities’’ (Liverpool City Council. a value 25% higher than the wider region. Economic decline creates a difficult context and limited the quantity and quality of development.

The scheme is important. 8). Building on the important Georgian and Victorian heritage in the area. Funding was also secured for a new Conservation Centre and Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts. . Development brief diagram suggesting a form for the Queen Square development. Despite promoting master plans by the Richard Rogers Partnership and Francis Tibbalds’ consultancy for significant sites at the Kings and Princes Docks. a regional Tate Gallery. reflecting the city’s historic link with sugar refining. housing improvement. educational. The Albert Dock development spearheaded the concept of heritage and cultural tourism in the city.M. whilst a development brief produced for the Paradise Street and Strand area. and became the location of the Museum of Liverpool Life. including investment in commercial frontages and a new public realm for Monument Place and Williamson Square. hotel and office scheme. The brief established broad parameters for a mixed use commercial. whilst the corporation also developed strategies. cultural and transport initiatives. development briefs and funded land reclamation and public realm works. and significant improvements to the on-street bus gyratory and public transport information (Fig. In 1992 City Challenge funding was secured by a more moderate Labour City Council on a competitive bidding basis for an area of the city containing many historic buildings. A development brief also emerged from the City Council for the Queen’s Square area. police station and Paradise Street developments forced into the city’s grain. Fig. 7). infill commercial. because it is the first large scale development in the city which managed to successfully coordinate a mix of uses around a reasonable form and resulted in an improved public realm. flagship scheme. Against a background of under investment in the city centre. between Albert Dock and the city centre also resulted in no initial takers. 7. and created a new public space. and with little design advice. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 73 Fig. Certainly the scheme re-established some useful routes through the city. St John’s Shopping Centre. the sites attracted no interest. the resulting scheme which did emerge was a reasonable success. most significantly. although the quality of the individual commercial buildings is unspectacular (Fig. In urban design terms these resulted in some moderate successes. the programme embraced a range of environmental. 6. This included the Queens Square site introduced above. however. the Merseyside Maritime Museum and also. This was a strategy of property led urban regeneration focussed on developing land rather than improving more directly the economic and social circumstances of people.

with commitment to the By Design principles. In addition there is little evidence that the city was thinking strategically about the form of the city and how its public realm might evolve. How all the British core cities responded to this agenda in urban design terms is discussed in Punter (2010c). 8. the use of development briefs for key sites and the use of design competitions to procure quality in urban development. particularly in what was described as a knowledge-based economy. 2003. and the more redistributive. View of the Queen Square development showing the Marriot Hotel. and the growth in further and higher education were also creating some new buildings. Whilst London and the south-east of England had essentially boomed during previous decades.1. 5. a concern for mixed use and the value of a human scale public realm. Punter. commercial frontages and new bus gyratory system and information centre. but very clearly linked to an ongoing discourse within urban design about a notion of an ideal form of English urbanism. At the same time the government established the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) in 1999 to promote and provide research and guidance related to design matters. With the exception of the museums and Tate Gallery.74 M. progressive suburbanisation and a perceived loss of more affluent people from large areas of formerly industrial cities. the Labour party supporting heartlands in cities in the rest of the UK had continued to struggle with the social and economic consequences of deindustrialisation. 2010a). This was supplemented by requirements for effective public transport to connect these neighbourhoods to the wider urban region. The urban renaissance agenda is regarded as a clear commitment to entrepreneurial governance and gentrification (Lees. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. Procedurally the report builds on previous experience by promoting the contribution of master planning. Punter (2010a) characterises the urban policy agenda of the UK’s New Labour government of the 1990s as offering a middle way between the neo-liberal deregulation and privatisation policies of the previous regime. cultural industries. was keen to reinforce the role of cities and adjust our view of urban life. with its stark socio-economic and regional impacts. 1999). Queen Square resulted from a proactive approach to promoting a site. A concern was also expressed about the quality of streets. most of these developments must be regarded as relatively low key. promote the effective treatment of design matters through the planning process and establish design review processes initially nationally. City centre living. These were heavily normative prescriptions fuelled by a concern about the state of English towns and cities. and the need to reduce the impact of cars on neighbourhoods and city life (Punter. The resulting form highlighted a gradual adoption of new urban design ideas and contextual thinking. elected in 1997. 2010b). The report acknowledged the role of cities in terms of creating attractive locations for investment. mixed uses. Governance for design A new government. Urban design and entrepreneurialism in Liverpool after 1997 5. The government’s response was enshrined in Towards an Urban Renaissance (Urban Task Force. facilitate training on existing and emerging design agendas particularly for the public sector. During 1997 urban design in the city was only really emerging as an activity and a topic. but subsequently within the regions. The . a night time economy. tourism. regulatory plan-led Keynesian approach pursued by former Labour governments. Significant emphasis was put upon developing and creating socially diverse but balanced and walkable neighbourhoods by promoting urban intensification. The urban design agenda was also embraced. diversity of housing form and tenure and appropriate but varying densities to support an adequate provision of facilities and services close to homes.

This was a partnership organisation created to build consensus between organisations responsible for delivering projects. Whilst the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool has a nationally significant collection. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 policy was driven by the desire for urban regeneration to be managed by new development partnerships combining and balancing the interests and agendas of both public and private sectors.strong economic growth in parts of the region has lead to a reduction in worklessness and residents have tended to ‘vote with their feet’ by moving into the more affluent suburbs and this has exacerbated the problems experienced in declining neighbourhoods. including Liverpool’s. The city centre was also the most visible and visited part of the city by residents as well as tourists and business people. 103). as it is the territory where urban design thinking has been applied. In more moderate terms it is also. The report alone. it is evident that helping people back into employment is a complex and important task. Such organisations were recommended by the report.liverpoolfirst. and the analysis of positive townscape areas. but the new council were keen to exploit the opportunity of a change in party in power. One might conclude that much of this investment did not target the people of greatest need directly.M. however. underperforming retailing. rather than managerial or regulatory governance. 2005. The analysis draws an appropriate conclusion which combines pragmatic observations about the nature of the city from . Working through reports such as this. Critically the city centre. Previous Labour administrations had moved in this direction.org.’’(North West Regional Development Agency/Regeneris Consulting. It includes analysis of major people generators and the quality of links between them. if not more people are working in the suburbs of Liverpool. This local and regional perspective is an important moderation. a new shopping centre is meeting a regional need. One aim was to establish Liverpool as a place that was safe to invest. became a focus because of the availability of land around the commercial core. Drawing in professionals from the public and private sectors the small organisation facilitated relationships and subsequently also development. and emphasises the multiple scales on which all cities or parts of cities operate. Urban design has had little role to play in this success. This decision to focus on the city centre is a bias of this study. Regulatory forms of statutory planning control continued in the city. vibrant culture but underperforming tourism) and also therefore the development potential there. the work was formative. and improve the city as a regional shopping destination.uk) who rightly say little about design. This reminds us that many. In 1998 Liberal Democrats took control of Liverpool City Council. a desire to compete with other European cities for investment. A baseline 75 study for the North West Regional Development Agency emphasises the jobs growth in the city centres of the region but also in the locations around the regional airports and suburban business parks. and confirm the identity of Liverpool as a premier European city. 2000). . The Urban Task Force Report (1999) marks a significant moment in how Liverpool dealt with urban design and development issues within its city centre. to regenerate sites in the city centre. however. The private sector would deliver the forms of development and space demanded by emerging markets. Following the publication of the Urban Task Force Report this new leadership team established Liverpool Vision as the UK’s first urban regeneration company. however. the quality of the historic environment and the need to protect it. rather than deprived neighbourhoods. and in the following year a new chief executive was employed. The region remains an area with significant problems but whilst changes are occurring in the city centre. does not explain the change. For the city centre. there is also a dynamic pattern within deprived neighbourhoods. re-establish inclusive communities. the existence of certain economic drivers (higher education and the knowledge economy. but choosing to critique the role of design within particular territories such as a city centre is a distraction from initiatives that should be of more fundamental concern. as some people get jobs and move out: ‘‘. Liverpool Vision commissioned SOM to produce a Strategic Regeneration Framework (SOM. Its objectives include the creation of an environment attractive to investors. keen to meet the needs of residents. In terms of urban design. p. This document contains all the entrepreneurial rhetoric which might be expected. although this is also not the focus of this study. The organisation is a clear manifestation of entrepreneurial. . whilst forms of housing or bars are also drawing new residents or visitors from elsewhere in the city. whilst also potentially using planning gain powers to secure community benefits. rather than being replaced. and the attention given to the physical environment started to be reflected in both guidance and emerging developments. mapping of poor environments and vacancy. but the public sector would (or should) regulate against forms of development inappropriate for a planned context. In Liverpool we would probably need to critique the work and successes of the Liverpool Local Strategic Partnership (http://www.

the quality of the public realm does not meet the expectations of the unofficial ‘‘English City of Architecture’’. . but also its entrepreneurial agenda: ‘‘Unfortunately. severing connectivity and stifling movement. . but also retain some autonomy. Of course. This has to some extent changed. This could frustrate the local planning authority. City approaches and gateways are ill defined. providing welfare and. an architecture and built environment centre created for the north west of England. . This document. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 an urban design perspective. It also had money to spend in areas of implementation with European Objective One funds being siphoned through a Regional Development Agency to approved projects. but in contrast it might be judged that the city council’s planning department was a little slower to embrace urban design and its contribution. The panel continued with a small membership and CABE became critical of its procedures. It suggested a (now complete) conference centre and arena at the Kings Dock site. . Neither Liverpool nor Manchester. Concurrently the new management team in the city also established a Design Champion in 2002. It also suggested the building of an iconic Fourth Grace at the waterfront. This was an advocacy organisation funded and supported by the city council as well as other agencies and organisations in the city. 19)’’ Although not exclusively an urban design document. During the mid to late 1990s the Liverpool Architecture and Design Trust (LADT) was established. It highlighted the development potential of the Paradise Street and Chavasse Park area to extend the retail core south and improve linkage with the waterfront.the motorcar unfairly dominates the city core. and rightly so. . In Liverpool the Champion tried to promote the benefits of good design and help establish a higher standard for new development amongst partners. Liverpool is fortunate that it has the building stock and urban fabric to provide a public realm that could be the envy of most European cities. Despite this it is evident that Liverpool Vision was essentially being proactive in setting the urban design agenda for the city centre because it had firmly established a link between economic and social regeneration and the quality of the emerging built environment. It established a design review panel during the mid to late 1990s to review and comment on the design issues associated with planning applications for the city council. 1999). It also established proposals for character areas of distinctive land-use and built-form. Liverpool has been keen to re-launch the local panel.76 M. Many commentators working in the city have suggested that previously the quality of design and development had not been a significant concern. The Champion also encouraged the suitable training of all staff to ensure awareness of the emerging urban design agenda and how it might affect . (SOM. widen its membership. The city hosted a national conference about how to procure better design in public funded projects.much of the streetscape is tired and lifeless. a concern for heritage had dominated the planning and development agenda for many years (interviews).lack of ground floor activity in many buildings adjacent to public open spaces and streets. big cities in the region. whilst comments were also not always in agreement with those of the local panel.[there is a]. From having one urban designer employed to comment of planning applications. 1995. a public art officer. and Liverpool was one of the first cities to adopt the idea. 2000. the explicitly spatial nature of the analysis and recommendations intimately tied a concern for physical form and quality into a wider debate about economic and social issues and possibilities. In particular it placed emphasis on tying movement proposals to ideas for public space and pedestrian connectivity and also enhancing key public spaces to ‘‘post card’’ standard— a very interesting and illuminating turn of phrase. written by a global design agency. contains many of the cliche´s critiqued in the literature about urban design. Towards an Urban Renaissance (Urban Task Force. Interestingly there is also a third tier of design review in the region run by Places Matter. in relation to the built environment. This drew attention to the live-work potential of historic buildings. send their schemes for consideration. . the Trust tried to raise awareness of the value of design for the city in parallel with the emerging debate nationally. Wright. but that creating jobs. This panel duplicated a national CABE design review panel which would also comment on significant schemes in the city earlier in the design and development process. an approach reminiscent from Birmingham (Hubbard. . it employed a new urban design manager. as a partnership organisation the city council can claim some involvement in this. and volunteer involvement from local universities and design practices. p. in particular for the National Health Service. It also called for new movement and public realm strategies. After a little time Liverpool City Council also developed its in-house urban design team. Despite this. . 1999) had been calling for cities to establish Champions. With a small permanent staff. and an additional urban designer bringing the team up to four.

It was not site specific and the language is encouraging. This was a well publicised strategy to reorganise travel and improve facilities for public transport users in the city centre. strategies and guidance The Liverpool Unitary Development Plan (Liverpool City Council. This is a low level of commitment to urban design policy (Carmona et al. It involved new Fig. It seems similarly symbolic that the post has now disappeared. 9. The Design Champion has been an important symbolic post and the previous Champion worked hard to put design concerns on the agenda locally. Within Liverpool the Champion was a city councillor. however. and so it connects directly to a 77 broader body of thinking about what urban design and therefore development should be trying to achieve (Fig. 2000). historic parks and archaeology. 2002) was the main adopted statutory plan. The movement strategy provided a framework for embracing a planned Mersey Tram proposal which subsequently was not awarded funding.M. This was a very down to earth appointment in comparison with the use of high profile architects in other cities. and more critically because the quality of some schemes which have been approved have been below the aspiration set in the document (interviews). in the following year the city published an urban design guide (Liverpool City Council Planning Services and Chapman Robinson Consultants. Some have viewed it as a coffee table publication (interviews). 2003). working with Mersey Travel published the Liverpool City Centre Movement Strategy (Mersey Travel.. 9). It contained 18 pages and 17 policies related to listed buildings. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 their practices or the decisions that they would take. Design policy. 2002). People committed to design quality have wondered whether and how the guide has been applied without adequate dedicated professional skill and member support. . using could rather than terms such as must or should. By contrast in 2000 Liverpool Vision. It was well received but a list of further more specific guidance. Interestingly. It contained roughly one page on design or urban design including one motherhood policy. 5. was written to be promotional and teach people about the existing qualities of the city. conservation areas.2. The guide. The guide firmly reflects the generic language and agenda of By Design. including city centre design guidance and a tall buildings policy did not appear until called for by UNESCO (see below). Liverpool Urban Design Guide ‘‘Objectives of Urban Design’’.

It involved public realm work to reduce the impact of traffic in key areas. interchange facilities and refurbishment of main line and other Merseyrail stations.78 M. improve pedestrian surfaces and road crossing opportunities. 10). It also included works to enhance movement of traffic north and south across the eastern edge of the centre. 11. Public realm classification in the Public Realm Implementation Framework. Fig. . Liverpool City Centre Movement Strategy. 10. a plan that replaced a failed ring road scheme. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. Critically the strategy was giving greater priority to the needs of pedestrians and public transport users. linked to emerging proposals for the regeneration of six key development areas around the edge of the centre (Fig.

city streets. . 13). Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 79 Fig. Such a position emerged as regional cities in the UK saw more proposals for tall buildings. when the city was European Capital of Culture. 2004) also sought to create a clear strategy and framework for how public spaces might be treated. 13. Williamson Square fountains implemented as part of the Public Realm Implementation Framework. 2007.M. as well as also establishing clear benchmarks by which to judge management and maintenance (Fig. A buffer zone required by UNESCO contains the entire city centre area which provides long views to the waterfront. p. Liverpool World Heritage Site area and buffer zone. The creation of Liverpool Vision and the development of this suite of urban design related strategies and guidance documents is in very significant contrast to a previous decade when essentially urban design thinking struggled to be taken seriously. if the Council were required to resist tall buildings or developments which might modernise the city’s stadtbild. . This involved a classification of streets and spaces in relation to their proposed movement function and also character. Pendlebury et al. but it also contains the commercial office area. Liverpool’s World Heritage Site status generated conflicts in interpretation about the design of development. This represented a significant development in both thinking about and developing projects for the public realm in the city. major squares and gardens. city squares. For each category a performance standard and design guidance was established.transcend national values and [are] of common importance to present and future generations of humanity as a whole’’ (UNESCO. pedestrian lanes. We can see the influence of the developing national agenda as it applies the ideas developing within urban design since the mid 1980s. (2009) note the distinct problem that urban World Heritage Sites present. but this links firmly to the new forms of governance which had come to regard the built environment as an important economic asset. Spaces were categorised and mapped as strategic streets and boulevards. waterfront and abuts the main shopping streets. 12). A series of projects was then developed to enhance the city for 2008. 7) They should be authentic and able to convey truthfully their historic significance. rather than merely a location of work or living. In Liverpool there was concern that the status might drive developers away. For UNESCO designated sites ‘‘. Fig. whilst also setting quality standards for design and maintenance. (pedestrianised) retail streets. strategic gateways. Liverpool’s historic docks and commercial core received World Heritage Site (WHS) status in 2004 (Fig. The environment contains a rich collection of historic buildings and environments. They should also have integrity and be intact. A Public Realm Implementation Framework (Liverpool Vision. 11). . 12. Although entrepreneurial governance might draw attention to the quality of development and the public realm. garden courts and water spaces (docks) (Fig. even though Liverpool embraced the status partly due to its tourist potential.

important urban design characteristics and specific development issues (Fig. analysing the designated area and buffer. Within UNESCO members seemed surprised that major urban centres seeking investment might find WHS status somewhat of a straightjacket. 15). 2007 for a discussion about the assessment of tall buildings in historic areas. this detailed guidance is presented for development in each character Fig. The emerging supplementary planning document (SPD) is based on a thorough urban design analysis of the entire centre (Liverpool City Council. Extract from the World Heritage Site Supplementary Planning Document Evidential Report. and started to wonder if they were out of scale or unsympathetic. despite its good intentions (Rodwell. and indirectly threatened to consider withdrawing the status (Bonnette & van Oers. 2008). including a number of cases in Liverpool). 2009c). specific character areas are highlighted. 16). Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 and Liverpool’s city centre waterfront became the site for some limited but controversial examples due to the views and value of the historic setting (see Short. Following. It includes an analysis of short and long views.80 M. These discuss architectural styles and details. the character of streets. This dictated that Liverpool adopt a stringent and clear framework to guide decisions about developments across the city centre. Views are openly discussed. 2006). route hierarchies. The same is done for any designs for the public realm. Whilst Liverpool had looked after its Listed Buildings. legibility. In October 2006 UNESCO issued a report bemoaning the lack of a clear strategy for dealing with individual development proposals within the World Heritage Site and buffer zone. 14. whilst sites for a clustering of tall or medium rise buildings are highlighted (Fig. its lack of an urban design policy for the city started to show as UNESCO scrutinised the nature of developments emerging. the character of key edges. 14). Urban design guidance in the SPD is then organised around By Design headings with key questions highlighted for developers and their designers to address through design and access statements. Design criteria are then set out for how tall buildings must be treated in their context. tall buildings are defined. 2009b. Following this. including how they must relate to the existing grain of the city and how they should sit in the immediate streetscape. ease of movement and the location of key urban and open spaces (Fig. .

given that the ground rules are clear. 4. The location of high buildings in the World Heritage Site Buffer Zone based on Fig.M. Extract from the World Heritage Site Supplementary Planning Document Evidential Report. The city has moved towards a more executive form of government with a strong council leader and chief executive often referred to as the power brokers in the city. whilst Liverpool City Council has been somewhat more tentative in creating its Liverpool .3 in the Supplementary Planning Document (Liverpool City Council 2009). analysing a specific character area. Fig. 16. Concurrently urban design has benefited from the strategies and guidance created and promoted by Liverpool Vision. and the analysis on which it is based. strategies and guidance established to encourage design quality reflect quite closely the developing practices occurring elsewhere in the UK and also government guidance. They established Liverpool Vision. The hope is that the World Heritage Site status will continue to attract investment. whilst developers confronted by the quality of the SPD. The result is a stringent framework for the entire centre which will empower the planning authority in its decision making. 15. Future research should explore its impact. area. There are evidently a number of explanations for this. This executive has been critical to the establishment of key players in strategic design terms. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 81 Fig. The policy. might work towards better schemes quickly.

17. Fig. It is welcome. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Urban Design Guide. Recent developments in Liverpool 1999–2008 Reviewing developments in the city centre as a whole allows the impacts of individual schemes to be understood within some context. . including private investments and also work to the public realm. Others are grouped together under the same Fig. UNESCO has bounced the city council into creating comprehensive guidance for development in the whole city centre in line with the national principles. the impact that this has had. but this might have allowed some senior people in the city council to be belligerent. but in policy terms one indicator of this is the reluctance of the city to initially approve a tall buildings policy. 17 is a map of the sites which have been subject to developer interest. Fig. The discussion of developments will explore this. 18 shows the projects submitted for planning permission which carry the greatest value for the city. to see the level of influence vested in the UNESCO judgement that SPD was needed. Interestingly in a quest to make the city more business facing it is worth reflecting on whether these documents have subsequently been ignored in a quest to court investors.82 M. therefore. and expanding its professional team. given the fact that the Government Office for the North West of England rejected the idea of more SPD relating to the development plan. The named projects are shown on the map in Fig. 2001–08). and driven by a heritage agenda. It is worth noting the complexity in judging the implications of this. and most critically the quality of the guidance that is emerging. This map highlights the diverse range of settings for which a significant mix of projects came forward. Between 2001 and 2008 Liverpool Vision published development updates listing the schemes in the city centre submitted for planning permission which would involve new buildings (Liverpool Vision. an awareness of these must be balanced with an appreciation of piecemeal developments elsewhere. Individual projects worth over £100 million are presented. 19. Map of sites subject to developer interest between 2001 and 2008. Although comprehensive schemes have been proposed. 6.

but their spread shows that investment has been realised across the centre. Mixed use development is a direct result of debates within urban design and Fig. The Paradise Street project is far and away the most significant development at £920 million. 21 shows a list of developers and the number of building schemes that they have submitted for planning permission between 2000 and 2008. a commercial use on the ground floor. Some of this is explained by the texture of the city. however. whilst large schemes have been reasonably balanced against evidence of smaller schemes over large areas. This highlights the local nature of a lot of these companies. with 15 of the 19 organisations based in the north west of England.000 people live there (Liverpool City Council. It highlights the amount of projects emerging from Liverpool University. The locations of the most valuable projects in the city. with 10 new buildings being proposed. It also highlights how active social landlords have been in the city centre with three housing associations and trusts promoting 18 projects. heading. Before the 1990s developers preferred the simplicity of proposing single use schemes which would maximise investment value and be easier to manage. with large numbers of smaller sites available for regeneration and the protection afforded by conservation areas which make it hard for larger developers to control significant areas of land to deliver bigger schemes. 83 regeneration discourse during recent decades. 19. Developers working in the city illustrate the diversity of organisations and the nature of the schemes that they have promoted. Fig. These schemes account for the repopulation of Liverpool city centre as a place to live. planning and developer objectives. the somewhat tentative nature of the development market given the . 20 is a map showing areas that have been subject to mixed use proposals. Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Vision. including a significant Arts Faculty building. 18. There are a range of other headline projects. Finally. These values give no sense of the urban design qualities of such schemes. mainly in the Rope Walks area. Frenson are a London based company who have made 21 planning applications. for example. The willingness of investors and developers to embrace mixed use schemes reflects a dovetailing of urban design. Projects of greatest value to the city. In trying to move away from a discussion of unrepresentative schemes. The list shows all applicants submitting three or more schemes.M. but the combined value of all smaller schemes was £2173 million. and critically. In Liverpool many developments have often been residential uses with. Fig. and that the city has experienced a significant range of investments in developments at a great variety of scales. 2004). Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. It also reflects. Currently Liverpool City Council estimate that about 19. evidence from Liverpool does emphasise its rather regional credentials as it has courted a significant amount of investment from within the region. Liverpool Community College and John Moores University (not on the list) have also added 5 new buildings to the area. 2009a. In 1991 the city centre population was 2340 people. Although many schemes have emerged there is a concern locally that the extent of their interests in the area has delayed progress. The gradual emergence of these projects has contributed to the current awareness of the impact of the knowledge economy in this area.

2010. Published by Royal Institute of British Architects. The Fourth Grace tells the useful story of a failed project to develop an iconic building. A thorough and well illustrated discussion of a wide range of recent Liverpool schemes is presented in Bayley (2010). 6.1. lack of general affluence in the city compared to elsewhere in the UK. . Rope Walks is a historic area of the city which saw the implementation of a public realm strategy as a context for piecemeal mixed use schemes.84 M. because although they are interesting. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. Other large areas such as projects in the Kings and Princes Docks are not included. The significant urban design projects in Liverpool City Centre It is beyond the scope of this paper to review all of the projects in the city centre. but their urban design is possibly less important (see Bayley. pp. and the development and its character is less complete and also therefore harder to really interpret or judge. Liverpool One is one of the most significant regeneration schemes in the UK. the discussion here was not considered dependent upon them. and in particular how urban design has been dealt with. A convention centre and arena in the Kings Dock are a direct product of an entrepreneurial endeavour. Proposals for mixed use developments between 2001 and 2008. it is an endorsement of the design quality of much of the development across the city as a whole. In this paper only schemes that offer a telling and concise insight into how and why the city level governance has embraced urban design are included. and involved a distinctively assertive involvement from the city council to secure public benefit through the physical form of the scheme. 120–123). but also the upgrading of a somewhat bleak modernist streetscape. Finally the schemes around Old Hall Street are discussed to explore the ambiguity around dealing with tall buildings. 20. Princes Dock is a significant but constrained site. but some schemes and areas give an indication of general trends.

It is essentially an innovative structure hiding a configuration of spaces which the council did not see contributing to the wider regeneration of the area. Applicant Head Office Location Liverpool Community College Liverpool 3 Copedale Ltd Liverpool 3 Poseiden Investments London 3 Beetham Organisation Liverpool 3 J Armor Ltd Ormskirk 4 Cosmopolitan Housing Association Liverpool 4 Derwent Lodge Liverpool 4 English Cities Fund UK Govt 4 Neptune Liverpool 4 Property Regeneration Homes Ltd Manchester 4 Villagate Properties Ltd Westerham. The mall suggested a link between the main shopping streets and the Albert Dock. buildings and bridges which wrapped around and hid the worst of the bus station and offices which then bordered the site.M. No clear sense of use was forthcoming. It would have been an iconic scheme by a star architect which theory suggests the city council should have been delighted to . In August 2000 the Walton Group used the acclaimed architect Philip Johnson to prepare a shopping mall proposal hidden inside a futuristic membrane roof superstructure. 6. 22). With no real client the results were an array of more or less bland open spaces. a bus station and car park. Developers of three or more schemes in the city between 2001 and 2008. hotel and deck-accessed office scheme with ground floor parking. Post war urban design thinking. Liverpool One During the 1990s Chavasse Park offered a genuinely dismal link between the city’s shopping streets. closed streets and delivered the back side of some law courts. 21. In design terms the Philip Johnson project is significant because of its form and the council’s reaction to it. An unattractive area of grass created a long walk from the shops to the overbearing Strand Street ring road which must be crossed to get to the regenerated Albert Dock and waterfront (Fig. 1995). but left the neighbouring hotel on Paradise Street. but the application failed and the scheme was not progressed. had developed an inner city ring road. whilst no architect wanted to anticipate the scope for shopping and parking which has ultimately prevailed (Anonymous. It included the bus station. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 85 No. business district. of applics. In 1995 the RIBA published the results from a design competition supported by the city council and the then Merseyside Development Corporation to get ideas for redevelopment in this area. the regenerating Albert Docks and also the emerging Rope Walks area. Kent 4 Downing Development Liverpool 6 Liverpool Housing Trust Liverpool 6 Ergo North West Ltd Liverpool 7 Urban Splash Manchester 7 Maritime Housing Association Bolton 8 Univ Liv Liverpool 10 Iliad Liverpool 11 Frenson London 21 Fig. This was a mixed use visitor attraction hoping to gain funding from the Millennium Commission.2. guided by the powerful hand of the local authority. The site was the subject of a planning application for what was called a National Discovery Park.

and two new anchor stores currently occupied by Debenhams and John Lewis (Fig.  create ‘active perimeter frontages’. preferring instead to work with developers prepared to do the ground work to understand the complexities of what were at this stage an undefined site and context. the Trafford Centre and Chester. open. Critically the city did not want the see ‘‘thrown together’’ master plans at this stage. This led to the development of individual buildings albeit built on one superstructure of parking and servicing. an arts centre located in the oldest building in Liverpool city centre (Fig.  exploit the changes in level across the site (there is a .  create links to neighbouring districts. p. the ultimate developer of the Liverpool One project.  respond to the ‘scale and massing’ of buildings and the ‘metropolitan character’ of Liverpool. Chavasse Park during the 1990s.  reinforce the character of the city centre. a year later.86 M. and pointed to sites around to the south of Church Street and Chavasse Park as providing the potential for a comprehensive scheme. In 1999 the city council published an urban design study for a wider area which became known as the Paradise Street Development Area which contained advice running contrary to the architect’s vision. Fourthly the scheme had to move people Fig. but also embraces a number of additional qualities. This led to the expensive but interesting development of a new arcade breaking through Church Street and constrained in scale by the location of the Bluecoat Chamber. As such they responded to an invitation from the council to form a partnership to progress development in the area. The master plan reflects the principles outlined in the city’s urban design study discussed above. 23). The Liverpool One masterplan shortest walking distances between anchor stores. . such as the Rope Walks. In this respect competitiveness was being defined in regional terms.  create high quality. . fall. Their rejection of this scheme was a critical moment.11 metre. the establishment of Liverpool Vision.  relocate any business or activity that is inappropriate for the redeveloped site.’’ (Littlefield. 23. . Despite this Grosvenor. were impressed by the potential of the city illustrated in the findings of the study and the new governance within the city. 24). 22. A study of the retail potential of Liverpool by the consultancy Healy and Baker noted that Liverpool had fallen behind regional rivals in terms of its retailing offer. The city wanted to:  ‘‘retain listed buildings and other buildings of interest and character. the central business district and the waterfront. . In a city desperate for investment this scheme was rejected because the form of the scheme did not suggest wider benefits. such as shop fronts rather than blank walls.  maximise ‘permeability’ over a 24-h period. public space. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. especially the physical and commercial link with the sea. 2009. but which did embrace urban design thinking. Firstly the city council wanted the scheme to be completed in one phase so that it would not be possible for the developer to walk away from subsequent development. Secondly the project is designed around the shortest walking distance between Marks and Spencer on Church Street. Thirdly Grosvenor were keen to develop the project so that it could be readily redeveloped in stages should areas fail. with Liverpool losing shoppers from within the region to Manchester. accept. reflecting the route of the original inlet around which Liverpool was built). 22). Liverpool had been described as an economic basket case (interviews).  retain at least some of the pre-existing street pattern. This report coincided with the change in council leadership and. .  provide full access from the main shopping route of Church Street.

Shops are on the ground floor with leisure activities and residential uses on higher floors. 24. Architects were then selected by the developer and city council and worked to the brief created by the master plan. though a number of levels to maximise the potential of the site. The city council appointed a dedicated urban designer to work on its behalf to progress the development with the City Centre Development Team. This master plan was used as a basis for the compulsory purchase procedure. although frontages to the east have been sacrificed around the bulky car park neighbouring the John Lewis store (Fig. It was a telling conflict when one of the UK’s most successful development companies supported by the local authority attempted to oust a use which did not conform to the development vision. Quiggins was certainly a distinctive use benefiting from what was an edge of centre location. restaurants and the public open space. Fig. The scheme has been designed by 26 architecture firms working on 30 buildings (Fig. 25). 28). whilst also providing early space for uses being relocated from elsewhere in the scheme (Fig. a building of youth oriented stalls and boutiques refused to cooperate with the compulsory purchase order served on the site. Pattern of use in Liverpool One. 26). The scheme is unapologetically mixed use with a diversity of functions arranged around a core of retail activity focussed on both Paradise and South John Street (Fig. Projects were submitted to a special working group of councillors rather than the full planning . and providing a valuable location for alternative low cost businesses. 27). The scheme embraces a new public open space on the site of Chavasse Park. This creates an unprecedented amount of variety for a project of this scale. dissipating the conflict. 25. and was also awarded outline planning consent. built over the car park and reflecting a long held belief that the city centre needed an open space in this location. uses and floor areas. Four buildings around the Bluecoat Chamber were also designed in detail to set an exemplary development standard. car park lifts and escalators to move people from two levels of shops to higher level leisure uses. The urban designer employed by the city council could then work in partnership with colleagues in Grosvenor to ensure the qualities being sought were realised throughout the design process. The Bluecoat Arts Centre. This uses the landform. The scheme generated some controversy when the owner of Quiggins. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 87 Fig. Most critically the development reflects a series of other desire lines with streets connecting in direct routes through the site to neighbouring locations. A new hotel links the project to the Albert Dock. but ultimately the variety is tied into a coherent master plan which unites the form.M. rather than merely reacting to schemes being submitted for subsequent consents. These routes tend to have a high degree of active frontage. The original master plan was described as extremely prescriptive and contained details of building heights. Subsequently a very similar business space opened on Renshaw Street nearby.

committee. the One Park West residential tower designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. This is aligned to urban design thinking. however. but is . and instead a reversion to a more open street system. Firstly it marks a clear shift from mall style developments being imported into city centre streets in the UK. Top left: Route to the Albert Dock. Various views from new streets in Liverpool One. from within the development team there was a concern that architects were a little overwhelmed by the prescriptive nature of the master plan and that maybe they could have been encouraged to challenge the master plan a little more to create more interesting buildings. It is an important scheme for a number of reasons. John Lewis is closing the view on the left. 27. Top right: reintroduced South John Street towards John Lewis. Interestingly. Bottom left: Paradise Street towards Rope Walks. 29). This process was as seamless as possible creating certainty for the developer that a scheme submitted for detailed approval would be able to proceed.88 M. challenged the scale of one of the larger elements of the scheme. Bottom right: College Lane looking west towards Paradise Street. English Heritage also. The original building was reduced in height so it did not overwhelm the setting of the Three Graces on the Liverpool waterfront (Fig. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. Fig. 26. Connectivity through Liverpool One.

cycling. 29. This has created the impression of public streets from which many people will benefit for 24 h of the day. Still the majority of the people here are shopping or hanging out. leading to the elimination of anti-social elements such as vagrants and beggars. and in a sense the project works through a rigorous urban design and development analysis to determine the possibilities and the extent of the site. Shopping centres have existed for some time in the UK and similar rules apply to their use. It also reduced reliance on anchor stores which might be prone to fail. The tendency to privatise is not new. Schemes like this were used to set the standard for subsequent phases. the ‘‘mall without walls’’ criticised by Minton (2006. and whether they are severe enough to warrant concern. In Liverpool it is hard to judge if this has resulted in very severe social consequences. but Liverpool also has local bylaws in place covering the entire city centre stopping skateboarding. and it may be left to the discretion of the security as to how the rules are interpreted. whilst uniformed staff appear to oversee the comings and goings in the streets. What is interesting here has been the success of urban designers in arguing for an open street system. Secondly the very open nature of the process through which the project developed is also interesting.’’ What might be embraced in the notion of anti-social may be spelt out somewhere (the owners would not share this despite requests) but the normal user of the streets would have no idea. This was done to future proof the scheme and allows phases to be redeveloped. Finally and critically it is important because the project has involved moving ownership of 42 acres of a city centre to private ownership for 250 years. Compared to the rest of the city centre this area is commercial. but work needs to be done to examine the implications of such a tendency. As you walk the streets it is difficult to see the moment that you move from one type of space to another. and was one of the first buildings to emerge from the development. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. It is interesting to compare the resulting scheme Fig. 89 with the early sites and development briefs and also the RIBA competition. trading and touting. There is a focus on these streets that a city council simply cannot justify as resources must be spread across so many areas of service. You are rewarded with a form of development which far exceeds even the latter’s unfettered expectations. although it is possible to note the more managed and manicured nature of the Liverpool One scheme. Interestingly the centre was accepted as part of a tuition fee protest route used by about 2000 students during . The quality and maintenance of the landscaping and planting in the new public space exceed that elsewhere. but is it exclusive and are people being socially filtered? An Office Service Charge brochure states clearly that ‘‘[l]ocal and model bylaws apply to Liverpool ONE. There was also a concern that the middle classes in particular do not like the contrived and controlled nature of mall type schemes (interview). 28. The difference is how they are managed. maintenance and cleaning in the interests of both businesses and general street users. just as in any normal street. and this is in a city that has often seen well intentioned projects vandalised. On the positive side this has allowed the vested interests of the developer/land owner to be harnessed to motivate ongoing management.M. At the start no site had been established. The Bling Bling Building by CZWG Architects contains the Herberts hair salon and training centre. One might imagine that it is a more tightly defined notion given the level of surveillance and management here. 2009). One Park West by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.

. In Liverpool the company saw the potential of a rundown site in the same area between Wood Street. In the late 1980s developers Charterhouse Estates bought many compulsorily purchased buildings in the area between Duke Street and Bold Street from the city council (for an extensive discussion of planning work in the area see Couch & Dennemann. This is an unfinished place of piecemeal developments within a completed landscape framework. and videos on You Tube have indicated that shops in the centre have been targeted by protests relating to trading ethics. but due to the property recession at the start of the 1990s the company went into receivership. 30). This company is interesting because the owners took a positive attitude towards cities and urban life. 30. Fleet Street and Concert Street and promoted a vision for the future of such sites which subsequently resonated throughout the UK. Their mixed use project was finished in 1995. Rope Walks In the neighbouring Rope Walks area it is evident that the character of the area has determined a very different approach to design and development. Most significant was probably the establishment of Cream at the Nation club night (Fig. but just off a connecting street to the commercially active Bold Street.90 M. but which could not have been anticipated by policy or guidance at the time. 6. Here the site was totally derelict. a regeneration company which initially developed sites in both Manchester and Liverpool and immediately left its mark on the cities. 31) in buildings on the northeast side of Wolfstenholme Square. It was an early example of the reintroduction of living spaces back into city centres within the UK. and to use the creative industries to help regenerate the area. They undertook no market research but saw the potential of former commercial buildings for mixed use conversion (interview). Essentially they pursued developments which reflected their own preferences. 2000). Concert Square became Liverpool’s example of the value of public space. Piecemeal development and adhoc initiatives continued to occur in the affordable spaces in the area. It combined flexible commercial spaces on the ground floor with 18 apartments above. They were creative and committed enough to break free from the then narrow view of what would work commercially. It is the scale of intervention and investment which suited a historic context. In 1993 Tom Bloxham and Jonathon Falkingham established Urban Splash. It emphasised the value of Bold and Duke Streets and the potential role of nodes or junctions in the area. Concert Square by Urban Splash. The national emergence of club culture formalised a green-field rave culture of the early 1990s and brought it back into city spaces. typically on sites with very low values.3. The company did their own urban design analysis which they published. It also revalorised neighbouring buildings and led to a significant rise of property values within the vicinity (Fig. but a new type of space created and managed for eating and drinking. Since then it is a precedent which many have learnt from. Their plan was to establish a cultural quarter in the area in response to similar schemes in Glasgow and Sheffield. Most critically it was built around a new privately managed public space which almost instantly became a new focal point in the city. and they embraced the value of design. An existing pattern of east west streets has been supplemented by improved north-south movement and a number of new squares. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 2011. The success of Cream bought thousands of young people to the run down spaces in this part of the city and spawned a range of related bars and smaller venues within the vicinity at the lower end of Fleet Fig.

a partnership organisation set up to manage the implementation of the plan. and refers to similar schemes such as Temple Bar in Dublin. 2005). It suggested the need to introduce other new spaces into the fabric of the area. commissioned a regeneration strategy for the area and in 1997 John Thompson Partnership ran a community planning weekend to develop an action plan and implementation strategy with local stakeholders. 33). The area has tended towards residential led Fig. although typically very contemporary. Wolfstenholme Square. In 1994 the city council and English Partnerships. Cream at the Nation. but tend to be on relatively narrow plots. This itself led to the formation of what became known as the Rope Walks Partnership. Essentially an urban design strategy. the English government’s regeneration agency. This is exemplary in linking back to the development planning policy context and the city’s design guide. assisted by a more stringent conservation area setting. Fig. as well as create north-south linkages to help people move between Bold and Duke Streets (Fig.M. 91 The partnership commissioned a Public Realm Handbook (Liverpool Ropewalks Partnership. This was a very local bottom-up initiative which took advantage of the availability of affordable and unspectacular spaces in this part of the city. Rope Walks spatial strategy from the Liverpool Rope Walks Public Realm Handbook (Liverpool Ropewalks Partnership no date). 32). Buildings here are located at the back of pavement and vary in scale. This informed an Integrated Action Plan produced in 1997 (Liverpool City Council and English Partnerships.). The whole public realm programme took over a decade to implement. Critically it built on the success of Concert Square. 1997). This document and procedure (based on the north American Urban Design Action Team approach) was subsequently lauded. including the urban space schemes and piecemeal contemporary mixed use buildings. This partnership approach reflected the complex nature of interests in the area. . More recently the city council approved a supplementary planning document (Liverpool City Council. are an object lesson in how to relate such buildings to historic forms. Castlefields in Manchester and public realm work in Leeds. The precedents set by earlier projects in the area. 32. New public spaces have become a setting for some decent buildings which. Rope Walks character in Argyle Street. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. 31. have certainly informed the commitment to design and development quality. whilst also acknowledging the very vivid character of this area. n. the document proposed a coordinated approach to the development of the public realm in the area. just as you might imagine early warehouse developments (Fig. 33. elaborating general planning and design policies specifically for the area and then applying these through specific advice to more closely defined areas of character. but the approach also became a model which informed other initiatives in the city. Street and also at the northern end of Slater Street.d.

Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. a new square surrounded by commercial uses on the ground floor but which also has a more domestic character (Fig. The Tea Factory. It also provides a low key setting to the former Saint Peter’s Catholic Church which has subsequently been converted to a bar (Fig. and Chinatown related projects to the east. 34. although the spaces vary in their character. 36. These types of development reflect clearly the changing nature of the urban population highlighted in the entrepreneurial literature. a house builder. which also opened up the opportunity of development around Arthouse Square (Fig. A range of impressive infill schemes and renovations to former warehouse buildings in Henry Street leads down to Campbell Square. This comprehensive scheme built between Kent and Cornwallis Streets was built by a private developer. The introduction of these small squares has provided a focus for renewal and given building users some aspect. 37). restaurants. The FACT centre in particular has been given a setting and access to the footfall on the shopping street Bold Street by the creation of a through route. They build on the early successes of Concert Square and its lesson of the value of public space. 36). Saint Peter’s Square has created a new focal point at the centre of the area for the Tea Factory and design studios to the north and west. These lessons have also been adhered to in the development of the East Village Estate in the southern corner of Rope Walks (Fig. creative and professional industries in the centre. 38). Notable developments include the FACT centre (an alternative cinema and gallery space) and Tea Factory (a mixed use commercial office space which is now home to RIBA in the North West) on Wood Street (Fig. bars and night-clubs to the north and west. 35). 34). 35. . Connectivity between the new squares in Rope Walks.92 M. mixed use developments to the south. Rope Walks Square. and closely reflect their neighbouring uses. a Fig. Saint Peters Square. Fig.

The Fourth Grace In the UK. workspaces. Salford has its Imperial War Museum by Daniel Libeskind. 39). apartment blocks for rent or joint ownership. few actually come to mind. 37. East Village Estate. It contains a college training centre.’’. . shops and cafes in a dense mixed use project arranged in part around two squares internal to the block. The value of the project at this stage was reported to be £80 . The form of the scheme invites you in as a member of the public. and this is despite the recent record of investment in the area (interview). One could criticise the privatisation of space in that as you enter it is clearly spelt out that these are privately owned and managed areas. At this time Building magazine reported concerns that despite aspirations for an iconic element to the scheme that the low demand to develop here ‘‘. The site was Mann Island. .M. Sheffield had the failed National Centre for Popular Music in a building designed by Nigel Coates. despite the amount of talk about iconic buildings. such as the new Tate Gallery and Maritime Museum in the Albert Dock. community college and a housing association. but it does seem appropriate to allow residents some control over how they might be used.4.meant that a radical scheme was unlikely. A design competition was used to encourage attention to design early in the process of thinking about schemes. but it lacked a development which would draw international attention. and that progress can be constrained by the whims of too few people. Professionals working in the city are particularly concerned that historic buildings at risk are not coming forward for development quickly Fig. but they are new spaces additional to the street network and also domestic squares in the heart of the city. Liverpool exploits weekend. or that progress is slower than it might be. The bulk buying of cheap properties in the area means that ownership is vested in too few hands. Portsmouth has the Spinnaker Tower by the less well known HGP Architects. . So it is still possible after a decade of intense development to walk through the new squares into neighbouring streets and think that little has occurred here. The call drew 17 expressions of interest from developer-led consortiums. If there is a problem for the Rope Walks area it is a result of its recent history. enough. which is located on the waterfront between the existing Three Graces and the Albert Dock (Fig. Liverpool Vision acted as a client for an initial bidding process to find a scheme for the site. Newcastle has The Sage by Foster and Partners. and they requested a radical design. It would be interesting to research how many people know where these buildings are and what they are used for. Campbell Square. 38. 6. . The scheme for the Fourth Grace was a high profile endeavour to achieve this. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 93 Fig. cultural tourism through its gallery and museum offer.

p. Interestingly there is a lack of clarity in how any of these schemes are discussed. Edward Cullinan Architects (David McLean and the Downing Group). It contained three elements: The Hill. There is a certain ambiguity in the brief with their uses varying. Paul Finch in the Architects’ Journal described it as a ‘‘flying saucer structure’’ (Finch. The failure of the scheme was controversial and shrouded in ambiguity. exuberant and huge (Leftly. The Alsop scheme was considered the most original. At this time the quoted cost of the development was up to £225 million (Gates.94 M. although each included a space to accommodate what then was known as the Museum of Liverpool Life (Booth & Gates. 2004). and Living. None of the illustrated plans really explained how the building forms would result in a convivial public realm in a location where the quality of the public realm really matters. Certainly the concerns reported in Building at the start of the process appear to have been realised with inadequate private sector interest in the location and the form of the development. Building Design asked if this was the ‘‘[e]nd of the iconic age?’’ following the failure of similarly radical schemes to raise funds typically from the public sector or UK Heritage Lottery Fund. 12). a nineteen storey apartment building. and over the decade these have been translated into a language that should allow people to talk about the merits of schemes using criteria of . The urban design agenda has its principles.. In November 2003 the Architects’ Journal reported that the uses of the building had still not yet been decided but that a windfall of £82 million of European Objective One funding was being earmarked for this project and also the neighbouring Kings Dock development to ensure their implementation (Anonymous. 2002. Fig. with asserted costs increasing from £228 million to £324 million. 40) was selected in December 2002 following an exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery at which 15. with Building magazine wondering if all would eclipse their more demure neighbours. Architects started to question the contribution that such buildings make to the cities in which they rest (Hurst et al. p. The Cloud which was the main structure of somewhat undefined use. p. Their favourite was by Fosters and Partner but their views were ignored. The scheme also included a landscape proposal to integrate an extension to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and embrace the existing buildings. describing the designs as flamboyant. 40. 39. an exhibition space and auditorium. Foster and Partners (Urban Splash and Royal Bank of Scotland) and Richard Rogers Partnership (Chelsfield and Capital and Provident). ostentatious. although few could find words to describe its character. The Cloud by Alsop Architects. 2003). with Liverpool presenting short-listed schemes for this site by Alsop Architects (Countryside Properties and Neptune). 2004. million (Anonymous.000 visitors voted for their favourite scheme. 2002). 6). 2002. Three of the projects took on a very comprehensive character. 1) whilst others criticised the loss of good architecture within a context where new developments have only been mediocre (Gates. The role of iconic architecture was made evident in the Capital of Culture bidding process when both Liverpool and Birmingham released radical building plans. whilst the so called iconic design and ambiguous mix did not allay their fears. 2002). Finally the project was claimed to be unviable. The Alsop Architects’ scheme (Fig. Mann Island site. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Fig. 2002). Then in July 2004 the project was shelved.

whilst other developments confirm that Liverpool’s real city centre renewal has been occurring elsewhere despite the high profile nature of this project. The Broadway Malyan buildings are clad in black granite. Old Hall Street The absence of any significant commercial office development in the city has clearly been a concern. eat some food. and the plan to build a new museum for Liverpool on the site part owned by National Museums Liverpool also remained intact. Much is being made of this. Of course the idea to develop the site did not go away. offices and leisure scheme (Fig. This lack of investment along Old Hall Street left it dominated by rather tired 60s and 70s comprehensive office schemes such as the Littlewoods Building (from 1962). Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 concern to urban designers. Ultimately although the form is original. 41). The irregular forms of all of these new buildings offer a sharp contrast with the regularity and massing of the existing Three Graces. Next door Countryside Properties and Neptune have worked with architects Broadway Malyan to design and build a mixed use residential. This left architects discussing if any of the proposed projects were only landmarks or actually iconic (Gates. 2002). 2002). . People will spend as much time staring at unusual building forms in the street as they will spend staring at works of art in a gallery. and the amounts of public money being promised for it. blob or flying saucer and the lure of building forms and ideas that have not been seen before (Booth & Gates. What will keep them there will be the chance to have a drink. Reading about the Fourth Grace project there is the language of I like it or I don’t like it. Consequently a more moderate scheme has emerged. but the Strategic Regeneration Framework (Liverpool Vision and Skidmore Owings and Merrill. It remains unclear exactly how and why so much public funding should be pushed into projects which merely try and deliver a certain image. The final Mann Island scheme includes the Liverpool Museum by 3XM Architects and a mixed use development by Broadway Malyan. In contrast architecture would seem to have failed to find a public language to match the evolution of building forms and ideas. 2000) emphasised the potential of focussing commercial office development along Old Hall Street. improving connections with neighbouring Princes Dock and also promoting the comprehensive redevelopment of the site behind the former Exchange Station (Fig. 42. Ultimately the site probably means this scheme only really matters in visual terms to the vast majority of people. The Commercial Quarter highlighted in the Strategic Regeneration Framework. A museum designed by 3XM cost £65 million. This seems such a self indulgent and expensive conversation to have in a city which has such poverty. 42). and it will contrast with the Portland stone used in the Port of Liverpool and Cunard buildings. If this area is to be a success the commercial uses on the ground floor will ultimately be what make it interesting.5. and has fuelled concern within UNESCO about the impact of such forms on the integrity of the World Heritage Site in which they sit. the building plans are less interesting.M. 6. 41. It is a little unclear if this will become a location people will be particularly drawn towards. shop and maybe watch people going by. The scheme remains very contemporary in form. whilst any effort to discuss the impact of such schemes seems shrouded in mystery. The museum closes one side of the Pierhead and offers the chance for Fig. Liverpool Daily Post and Echo building (1970–4) and the Fig. 95 spectacular views from within.

There has been the development of ground floor retailing which has animated the streets closer to the city centre. The latter has 3 storeys of car parking at ground floor level. Unfortunately its immediate context is King Edward Street. Close by is also The Unity building at 20. When completed two Fig. Fig. retailing. and then emphasised in the much lauded development of Brindley Place in Birmingham. . Chapel Street (Fig. On Brook Street Beetham also developed the 40 storey West Tower. as previously discussed. 43).96 M. Public realm works have been completed by the city council. containing a hotel and 132 apartments. 44). The Unity building from Rumford Street. apartments and car parking. This contains two lower towers in a sensitive location within the vicinity of the Liver Building and Our Lady and St Nicholas church (Liverpool’s parish church). a 6 lane road which remains the antithesis of an attractive urban boulevard. but a new public space is the focus for the creation of a three phase mixed use scheme of offices. 43. This development has come to symbolise the recent renaissance in the city by updating a much photographed view. restaurants. scheme in the area (Fig. This contains basement parking. 5 storeys of office accommodation and 127 apartments (Fig. The value of convivial public spaces as a setting for office developments was established in Broadgate in the City of London. and toyed with pedestrian access at deck level. 45. but higher than the Atlantic Tower hotel. This latter scheme has such a small plot for its scale it interestingly has little impact on the streetscape within its immediate vicinity. Two new towers contribute to the skyline but their use is dominated by living spaces. The Beetham and West Towers and the Unity Building. They fuelled the concern for proper guidance to developers about tall buildings within the UNESCO World Heritage area. Here the scheme is far less ambitious in urban design terms. seen somewhat of a transformation. The street has. St Paul’s Square development in front of the Plaza (the former Littlewoods Building). 45). The refurbishment of the Royal and Sun Alliance Building and rebranding as the Capital Building has updated the street image. They form an ensemble which has reinvigorated both the skyline and also critically the streets in this area. in terms of their impact on the historic skyline and views. East of Old Hall Street the new mixed use development at St Paul’s Square is probably the flagship Fig. however. Both towers come down to form a coherent frontage with ground floor retailing or restaurant spaces. 44. These tall buildings were dealt with in an adhoc way. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Royal and Sun Alliance Building (1972–6). The Beetham Tower is on Old Hall Street and is 38 storeys.

The entrepreneurial city is littered with flagship projects. Whilst some commentators might see the inevitable outcomes of entrepreneurial forms of governance and development. encourage aesthetic diversity and comfort. and development forms have been distorted as a result of public sector intervention. helped also one would imagine by relatively low initial land values. promote economic vitality and viability. The image of the area has been updated. but it also seems significant that the city centre has received a diverse range of investments. reduce environmental impacts. 7. In terms of students the universities are competing for students from various markets. iconic architecture.000. This is a manifestation of the janus-faced condition of the urban design professions referred to by Knox (2011). In terms of retailing the competition is regional. although the progressive agenda evident in the principles has become manifest in Liverpool. whilst the Liverpool Urban 97 Design Guide reflects the language of By Design. shape and manage the public realm does allow private interests to distort the nature of places in their own interests. reimaging and rebranding initiatives. Yet urban designers are not always aware of this agenda as they work to deliver what they see as a more progressive perspective on the public realm. but also that ownership and management regimes also have a significant influence over the nature of places. whilst there was a government supported shared equity scheme operating for people on a low income and key workers. protect investment values and maintain and promote economic interdependency. and this may. in the process. The office offer is conservative for a city of Liverpool’s size. and in 2007 the highest specification office spaces reached a critical target price of £20 per square foot. with Liverpool trying to regain its share of shoppers from the North West of England and North Wales. and it would . In urban design terms it remains critical that the authorities hold their nerve and remain patient enough to get forms of development that reflect the vision contained in the masterplan. The ability to own.000 for people who were eligible. others will see efforts to protect and enhance the cherished local scene. Essentially we see the emergence of an urban design agenda which regulates to secure some features of development in the public interest. After decades of stagnation the office market in the city became more buoyant. provide a choice of means and mode of movement and transport. The work to Old Hall Street and the development of St Paul’s Square certainly present a more convivial and interesting streetscape. We are reminded that urban design is not enough to secure the qualities of a city’s environment. procedure and product. create perceived and real safety for users. help people find their way around. There also remains a concern that larger offices tend to be let to public sector organisations (for example the UK Border Agency in the Capital Building). disadvantage people. bringing prices down to just over £100. Subsequently this has fallen back reflecting national trends. not least in Liverpool One. not least through privatisation. or at least a form of development that remains in the spirit of what they hope to achieve. Fig. and the greater mixing of uses has certainly stimulated the vitality of the area. clarify the distinction between public and private realms. Has Liverpool emerged through a period to now firmly demonstrate these qualities. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 bedroom apartments here were for sale for around £150. It is significant that in Liverpool the Council tried to be more business facing and investment friendly. Entrepreneurial governance and urban design in Liverpool Previous studies have clearly linked a notion of entrepreneurial forms of governance to forms of urban design practice. from the local to the international. but also tries to suggest how the substance of the guide might link to notions of public interest reflected in the physical form of development. This allowed a split of 70:30 ownership.M. 46 illustrates this. The combined effects of the social housing sector developing in the city centre and the effects of such shared equity schemes possibly help to bring such homes within the financial reach of a wider spectrum of people. the privatisation of public space and evidence of gentrification. or how might we otherwise explain the forms of development emerging? The development of urban design thinking in the UK is organised around a discourse which embraces a clear lineage back to Anglo-American origins in a wider literature. Without demand it is hard to see a larger project for the master planned commercial quarter progressing quickly despite the good intentions. and this comes into conflict with or is distorted by other development objectives. By Design could almost be accused of plagiarising this thinking. encourage personalisation. Critically we see the fuzzy way in which a quality public realm which urban designers celebrate might also be viewed as both benefiting a wider public but also as a territory which powerful private interests try and control. This clash of perspectives reflects the middle way which Punter referred to when he discussed the Labour government’s search for a balance between regulation and deregulation.

landmarks. open space. Tourism would seem to focus at a variety of scales as well. lighting. It is recognised as a city you would stay in for one of two days on a larger tour or for a conference (Tourism Solutions and ACK Tourism. public art. building lines. natural surveillance. street planting Sennett. skylines. although we could assume that as a regional city Liverpool would attract visitors from across the UK for short visits for tourism. public transport information. mix of uses. and possibly fewer international visitors staying for a longer period. priority to walking and cycling. but in urban design terms it also reflects a concern for the protection of local and regional identity. seem hard to argue that the city is competing internationally for companies to take the space. visual richness. Sitte. 2004). of built form. innovative parking. Similarly the development of the night-time economy in areas like Ropewalks. Instead it seems more appropriate to reflect that investment has been directed to forms of development which meet or encourage the development of a range of competitive markets. Jacobs Visual Appropriateness/ Variety Character Character areas. energy efficient adaptation. in relation to housing and living Liverpool is certainly in competition with its metropolitan area. Interestingly. Alexander Jacobs Permeability • Choice of means and mode of transport. views. and in some respects is an outcome of the success of conservation . permeability. Alexander Robustness Sennett. style scale and context. Fig. night clubbing or football. This is probably a conclusion that can be generalised to other regional cities in the UK. visual diversity • • • • Urban vitality Reducing environmental impact Safety Maintaining and promoting economic interdependency and sustainability • Aesthetic diversity and comfort * These authors are selected from Responsive Environments and are not a comprehensive list. In the case of Liverpool it seems a little overstated or simplistic to argue that the city is repositioning itself globally to attract inward investment. The tourism potential of such a heritage status can be aligned to the competitiveness discourse. Bonta. streetscape. valued buildings. views Protecting and enhancing the cherished local scene Ease of movement Through movement. with the forms of housing offering an alternative city centre market to the inner neighbourhoods or sub-urban offer. meeting needs of people with sensory impairments Continuity and enclosure Continuous street frontages and boundaries. Bacon. making any reference to repositioning as a strategy a little ambiguous. Liverpool is repositioning itself locally. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 Anglo American Origins* Responsive Environments By Design Liverpool Urban Design Guide Notion of public interest Wolff. would appear to be targeted mainly at the local population. regionally and nationally and possibly least of all globally. The extent to which UNESCO has bounced the city into producing more guidance for sites around the World Heritage site might suggest that the city has wanted to limit constraints on developers. street furniture • Urban (economic and social) vitality • Safety • Aesthetic diversity and comfort Lynch. • Reducing environmental impact. The continuity of urban design thinking: from theory to Liverpool’s planning and design guidance. fronts and backs. focal points. Cullen Unwin Legibility Legibility Routes. Jacobs Barnett Variety Diversity Mix of people. landmarks.98 M. reflecting and evolving from recent cultural trends. avoiding clutter • Ability to find your way around Adaptability Of public realm. density near public transport. • Safety • Clarity of ownership and responsibility • Personalisation Krampen Gombrich Richness Quality of the public realm Street life. signage. reserve sites • Protection of investment value • Reducing environmental impact • Protecting and adapting the cherished local scene Whyte. although attracting and serving some overnight or weekend visitors. but this view is also complicated by the reluctance of the Government Office to allow more guidance attributable to an out-ofdate plan. appropriate densities. priority to sustainable transport. activity. 46.

urban design theory has worked hard to justify forms of development which are permeable. urban design must occur in the real world and must confront possibly more pressing objectives of people enshrined in the principles of urban design. and with management and control now unaccountable to wider non-consumer public interests. however. on the surface. the commercial area. but there is no homogeneity in the architecture 99 or landscaping. but they exploit the commercial potential of their positions without being very memorable. but particularly around the city centre. please urban designers. The scheme is an interesting urban design solution to an urban design problem. Instead the scheme ties this area of the city back together. Whilst some might question the scale of this Liverpool One development. and it can be quickly forgotten. legible. People coming here do not enter an invented model of reality or a place with a theme park atmosphere. draw such a conclusion. and merely reduce urban space to a field of competing meanings. The area of Liverpool One is an addition to this trend. then there is a connection. In Liverpool the evidence tells us that new developments have typically been on derelict brownfield sites. Prosaic conservation arguments merely to protect significant good quality buildings might offer more of an insight. offer mixed uses and give far greater attention to the conviviality of the public realm. But these streets are built onto a mega (servicing and car parking) structure and heavily managed to meet the needs of the property owners. and so it is a welcome trend to see the form of Liverpool One. and Liverpool has a clear branding strategy for how it presents itself in. for example. however. but we can also note that housing associations have been active in the centre either exclusively or in partnership with private developers. to suggest that rebranding is the end in itself where a commitment to urban design is concerned. and the meanings that they attach to a place change. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 policies introduced to protect the cherished local scene. There are some normalising tendencies in the retailing brands. but it is not iconic.M. Post-war developments in Liverpool had few of these qualities. as a by product of urban design endeavours people feel an improvement to the place. and its architectural diversity is to be applauded. might be viewed as part of a neo-liberal agenda to attract affluent tourists. but the nature of the emerging spaces may be compromised by the lack of public accountability for decisions that owners make about management. What is interesting is the emerging distinction between the apparent nature of the urban forms on one-hand and ownership and management practices on the other. the opening of streets and the introduction of new spaces in Rope Walks. It seems doubtful that anyone other than an informed critic might. Such a scheme might. More generally it is important to acknowledge the contribution that basic urban design concepts have had in shaping both strategies and developments on the ground. but it is a significant area both in terms of size and also location and it adds to large existing docklands areas. Liverpool’s largest projects have been flagships by virtue of their use and scale. The introduction of private apartments has probably managed to re-balance the mix of people living in. It also is not introverted or fragmented. Open streets suggest publicness. It does not seem correct. it has certainly resolved a long term problem of re-linking the city centre with the waterfront and the Rope Walks area. fake or synthetic seem somewhat exaggerated. The Fourth Grace project is not particularly significant within the context of the city centre’s development or how it would have been used. Within a context of relatively severe deprivation and an oversupply of affordable homes any development might gentrify. It has also significantly improved the quality of the spaces that people can experience whether they are shopping or not. The scale of the problem in the Paradise Street area can only really be understood with clear reference back through the recent history of the site and with an understanding of just what impact the forms of post-war comprehensive development had on the site and its wider context. although its management means that some might consider it sanitised. Whilst this might be possible and interesting as an academic exercise. Searching for endeavours to reimage a city is interesting. and the significant introduction of mixed . It seems hard to judge or interpret exactly if the constraint on development imposed by listed buildings in. for example the tourist media. in underutilised commercial and often historic buildings and fitted around existing inner area residential communities. Put bluntly. Tall buildings are controversial and frame the waterfront view of the Three Graces. but achieved using controversial compulsory purchase powers. Rhetorical adjectives to describe it as placeless. Such a conclusion would belie the origins and objectives of the field. The new shopping centre contains contemporary buildings and has a fascinating contextual design. and of course the meanings may be good or bad. escapist. The only attempt at something iconic failed. but is there a relationship between this and urban design? If. One area where the city might by more firmly criticised is around the issue of the privatisation of public space.

Here it has been UNESCO that has imposed both a procedure and good quality urban design guidance onto the planning system. and in this case it has not been targeted at the most deprived neighbourhoods or people. 2003. It seems a little simplistic to suggest that a city is engaged in a global game of competing for mobile investment and using a certain form of urban design as a tool. The case also highlights the impact of contemporary buildings on a cherished local scene. It is. and assumes that implicit in the form of resulting schemes are the priorities of the decision makers. 2008. The study has not involved research of design and development decision making. and reflect on which explanations account best for the physical forms of development that have emerged. The approach adopted here has allowed for a wider view of development. The work has been aligned to substantive thinking and national policy and guidance. good design can or should create popular environments there must inevitably have been some alignment of urban design thinking to private sector development objectives where renewal has occurred. Future work might examine whether and how urban design endeavours in a city might benefit the poor more directly. including in Liverpool. and the outcomes of urban design can be firmly attributed to an entrepreneurial turn in urban governance. 2006). It is evident that the use of urban design principles has reversed some of the negative trends evident in previous forms of retail or commercial office scheme but a tension is created when a good piece of urban design in physical terms is owned and controlled by the private sector. It remains up to the planning system and the agendas presented there to resolve how this comprehensive guidance is interpreted. Townshend. and that this agenda has been owned and applied by a range of people in very different agencies working in the region. as Duany observed. involving for example. rather than focussing down on the minutiae of discrete decisions. Research does confirm that urban designers have shaped schemes which also try to reintroduce more affluent people to ‘‘balance’’ communities and reinvigorate local housing markets (Biddulph. 2003. Conclusion This study has explored whether and how forms of governance affecting a deprived region of the UK have embraced an urban design agenda through its practices. This dovetails with the entrepreneurial possibilities of tourism. although to date this has typically been on empty sites adjacent to existing communities which have remained intact. as a result of World Heritage Site status. including in the Old Hall Street area. This is rightly controversial but its consequences remain ambiguous. essentially privatising public space. Biddulph / Progress in Planning 76 (2011) 63–103 use buildings and the enhancement of streets and spaces across the city centre. and the agenda has been driven by a concern for the prosperity of the city generally when compared to national averages. The desire to attract inward investment is very real. A degree of gentrification has occurred. We are reminded that built environments host multiple discourses and meanings. 2007. evident in housing elsewhere in the city where concern for security shapes even the most affordable schemes. Lees. The worst forms of enclave or gated development have not really appeared in the city centre apart from in discrete student schemes for which gating is common. as links between basic areas of wealth or job creation and urban design are somewhat tangential. In the case of Liverpool it is very evident that the city has embraced an urban design agenda. This has been a significant development in both thinking and practice in comparison with previous decades. Many companies developing in Liverpool are locally based and taken as a whole the diverse range of . Roberts. It has focussed on the policy and guidance documents. although it is thought that studies of more general socio-economic policy might bear greater fruit. although this approach has allowed some of the significant controversies to be highlighted. and it has been delivered through the full range of tools and procedures available to the planning system. It is certainly possible to create good jobs in places that design might appear to have forgotten. It is the form of the developments that is the legacy to any urban environment. In particular it has been concerned to examine whether an interest in. as well as how they are used. 8. but it is not driven or directed by this agenda. Areas of tension remain. as the semiotic triangle reminds us. The combination of urban design thinking and control about frontage and sympathetic scale and massing has combined with the existing texture of sites and block structures to generally result in street facing schemes. a detailed assessment of the views of stakeholders in progressing schemes through the planning system.100 M. but also the impact of depopulation and suburbanisation. Cameron. however. In particular the aim was to explore the role that urban design has established for itself. Urban designers have also tried to shape interventions in some of the most deprived places. although it has been particularly driven by a partnership agency rather than the local authority. Given that.

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