Strategic urban design is a creative, collective process of re-imagining a functional urban region. It involves debating, refining and agreeing the urban region’s identity and its story of change. Strategic urban design facilitates and guides collective decision making by establishing a relational cross-boundary framework.
Some of the characteristics of strategic urban design are that it articulates a story of change, it is results orientated, it presents connections and opportunities and it works across a range of spatial forms and time horizons. Like the concept of place, it is scalable and works across a range of geographical areas, marrying specific place potential with generic targets and highlighting infrastructural opportunities. This a description from the University of Greenwich Urban Renaissance Institute Final Report.
CABE also recognised the role of strategic urban design and its focus on the activity of design, evidence based links to analysis and evaluation, the synthesis of spatially led but socially grounded city creations with the quality of environment linked to economic advantage.
The components of strategic urban design are design thinking, visualising, measurement and learning, managing growth and moderating decline, all through an iterative process that allows for programmes and projects to be reconsidered in the light of changing decisions.