New ways of seeing - introducing the new Uncommon Land - Benoy Masterplanning Urban Design Think Tank

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We’re pleased to share news of our Urban Design Think Tank, an exciting new Uncommon Land – Benoy Masterplanning joint initiative.

Who, what, why..

Between us, we are diverse in our backgrounds and offer a wealth of experience in urban design, large scale landscape architecture, architecture, urban planning and masterplanning. Added to this, we have people who have been trained in urban design from various post graduate programs around the world, so it felt like a natural next step to come together and share some of our thinking and have some wide ranging conversations.

New ways of seeing

Our aim with each session is to deep dive into a topic or question. It’s all about creating a friendly space for people to share ideas and opinions and for all of us to challenge our thinking.

For our first outing, we asked the group to consider the meaning of Urban Design. Over the course of an hour or so, we covered topics such as urbanism, urban systems and the real global differences around the meaning of urban design. Together, we shared our individual perceptions and experiences from living and studying in global cities and working on geo-political projects. We also reflected on time spent living in urban neighbourhoods where tactical urbanism and bottom-up approaches morphed into meaningful community assets and spaces.

Next steps

Our next session will explore the power of storytelling in urban design. After that, we’ll also look to cover topics such as the life and death of main streets, urban systems, resilient landscapes, new urbanism, top-down vs bottom-up approaches, the rural-urban transect, climate change, hard and soft infrastructures plus more.

Between Uncommon Land and Benoy’s Masterplanning work, we see many project overlaps and synergies. People look through the lens at urban design from different professional backgrounds, which makes the design iteration process and ideation testing so intriguing in our office. We are already bringing those diverse perspectives together for competitions and client projects across a variety of scales and geographies and we hope our think tank discussions will build on that process.