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8 Easy to find your way around

Is the development designed to make it easy to find your way around?

8a Will the development be easy to find your way around? If not, what could be done to make it easier to find your way around?

We recommend

Making it easy for people to create a mental map of the place by incorporating features that people will notice and remember. Create a network of well defined streets and spaces with clear routes, local landmarks and marker features. For larger developments it may be necessary to create distinct character areas. Marker features, such as corner buildings17 and public spaces combined with smaller scale details such as colour, variety and materials will further enhance legibility.

Providing views through to existing or new landmarks and local destinations, such as parks, woodlands or tall structures help people understand where they are in relation to other places and find their way around.

Legible features include: distinct character areas (for larger developments), framing views of existing or proposed new landmarks (and/or landscape features) both on- and off- the development site, a well-defined street hierarchy (for example, tree lined avenues can help create a simple but effective street hierarchy) and creating new marker buildings and spaces.

Making it easy for all people to get around including those with visual or mobility impairments.

Identifying important viewpoints within a development, such as views towards the end of a street. Make sure these viewpoints are identified and well considered. Anticipate other, more subtle viewpoints, for example a turn or curve in the street and how best these can be best addressed.

Creating a logical hierarchy of streets. A tree lined avenue through a development can be an easy and effective way to help people find their way around.

We recommend that you avoid

  • Creating a concept plan for a scheme that does not include careful consideration as to how people will create a mental map of the place.
  • Layouts that separate development from the car, unless the scheme incorporates secure underground car parking.
  • Creating overly long cul-de-sac developments, rather than a connected network of streets and spaces.
  • Blocking views to landmarks or notable landscape features
  • Terminating views down streets with garages, the rear or side of buildings, parking spaces, boundary fences or walls.