Ashington Public Realm Design Guide

15 September 2003 | blog, frameworks, place making, small towns, strategy, working with communities

Parade of shops in Ashington

We have been appointed by Wansbeck District Council to produce a Public Realm Design Guide together with improvement schemes for Ashington.

The significance of the proposed study goes beyond producing a new design for a square or improving the quality of public realm throughout the town centre – it could also be fundamental in bringing about a blossoming of civic pride, presenting an enhanced image of the town and establishing a distinctive sense of place.

Ashington - Marty

Public Realm Design Guide

The proposed study could realise a unique opportunity for Ashington town centre and play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the town centre by establishing a shared vision of the future role of the town centre – economically, socially and environmentally – and balancing the interests of all stakeholders. It could produce an imaginative but functional framework for the urban realm which creates a unique and distinctive sense of place. It could also raise the quality of the public realm – partly through guidance and partly through new scheme designs and implementation programmes. Finally, it could generate private sector confidence in the future of the town centre, assisting the business case for investment and the means to overcome barriers to delivery.

We propose to develop an overarching spatial strategy and materials palette(s) that are integrated with transportation/access arrangements and known development projects, which will help to achieve a consistent and cohesive approach to the treatment of the town centre public realm.

Our approach to generating design guidance for Ashington is to involve the community from the outset before any design work is done rather than ask for views on a range of outline design proposals. In doing this, we believe that the results will be more robust.

Ashington Proposals Excerpt

Willie Miller, the founder and principal of WMUD, died on 12th January 2021 after a short illness. Willie was a much-loved husband and father and had a huge circle of friends  and professional colleagues. He was a multi-talented urban designer whose work had a major impact on hundreds of cities, towns and neighbourhoods throughout the UK and over the past 25 years. He also worked in Ireland, the Channel Islands and the USA.

Ines Triebel has been with WMUD since 2005, and she will continue the practice, drawing on her skills as a planner and designer. Ines has worked on place strategies, masterplans, policy guidance, regeneration and development frameworks, and the design of public realm and streetscape projects. She has extensive experience of working with communities, including charrettes.

WMUD will continue its long-standing strategic partnerships with Benton Scott-Simmons, Nick Wright Planning, Kevin Murray Associates, icecream architecture, yellow book and others. Please direct inquiries to Ines at [email protected] or contact any of the practices named above.