Everything you need to discover about the Plan Projects portfolio of work.
As a practice, Plan Projects was founded on the belief that successful city-making is about a proper recognition of the social, cultural and economic aspects of shaping places as well as the physical. As a result the Plan Projects team considered the changing as well as the static aspects of urbanism.
However, recognition of the multifaceted nature of urban design would be nothing without an understanding of the subject area. Our place profiling work enabled Ivan Tennant and his team to respond to the specifics of a given locality’s needs, strengths and ultimate objectives. Under the banner of ‘PlaceShaping’ the list of services offered by the practice is set out below.
They were employed separately or in combination to deliver work of the highest professional standards.
Plan Projects worked with local authorities to gather the necessary evidence to support area action plans and neighbourhood-level planning frameworks. We also worked with community groups on neighbourhood plans in London.
The former involved building multi-disciplinary teams consisting of our own staff working in collaboration with our network of associates to bring together the evidence to support successful plan-making that was compliant with prevailing national policy and planning practice guidance.
In neighbourhood planning, the practice was able to mobilise its regeneration, community engagement and spatial planning skills and ability to interact with local authorities and government agencies to support communities articulate their spatial planning aims and develop effective policies.
Taking a broad, rather than purely arts based notion of culture, these studies identified how cultural activity could play a role in the multifaceted business of urban regeneration and development, searching across arts, sports and environmental platforms to promote economic resilience, community well-being and environmental quality.
As a study that cuts across all aspects of the delivery of sustainable places, they were a strategic tool and source document from which could spring innovative and original approaches to urban design. Our studies sought to ensure economic development recognises the core strengths of place and master-planning encompasses the social as well as environmental strands of sustainability.
Public realm should support a multiplicity of different uses, aiding mobility, supporting business activity, providing places for social interaction and play. It can provide intimacy, aid community life or offer grand sweeping gestures.
Plan Projects landscape and urban design team offered substantial experience of working on both neighbourhood and district-wide public realm strategies. As an initial step, the team carried out desk-based and observational research to understand the issues of use, scale and context. Based on this research, they arrived at a vision, underpinned by key design objectives, for how the public realm could deliver the essential infrastructure and networks an urban environment requires.
Working within a public realm envelope, landscape architecture plays essential role in delivering successful public spaces and supporting community well-being. Our landscape team combined vision and imagination with technical rigour to create highly functional, beautiful places with a strong sense of character. They were keen to work collaboratively, always involving an independent artist and, where possible, the local community in arriving at our design solution. Through our knowledge of public engagement and social research we are able to create spaces that provide outlets for local community expression, encouraging a feeling of custodianship and sense of pride among residents and users.
Plan Projects defined successful public art as that which achieves artistic excellence, has a clear purpose within the wider built realm and resonates for local people. Flowing from this, in the debate about the community’s role in public art commissioning, we firmly believed the best public art should draw on the local knowledge and values of the people who will live with it once it has been commissioned. The role of the commissioning agency is therefore to mediate between these two interests and create a space in which an intellectual collaboration can occur where the artist’s creative talent is framed by an understanding of people and place.
Meanwhile projects, activities that can take place in the spaces to be occupied by new buildings during the period between site clearance and construction, formed an important part of bringing energy and vitality to dormant spaces following the impact of the financial crisis in 2008-9. Also, the offered a means of building a strong relationship with community groups moving through a process of urban change.
Plan Projects devised tailored meanwhile projects. Our programmes were specifically designed to address the economic, social and environmental needs of place and, as a result, were diverse and multifaceted. They included activities urban agriculture and horticulture, street art, sports events and festivals. Where urban design may deliver the ‘static’ aspects of place-making our meanwhile projects were designed to stimulate the ‘kinetic’ – the changing, mobile and temporary that optimises the cultural value of place.