One consideration within Designing Streets is that streets should use appropriate Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) techniques, relevant to context, to minimise environmental impacts.
But feedback from research indicates that, in practice, conflicts remain between requirements for water management systems, including SUDS, and aspirations for high quality streets. Design, maintenance and adoptions standards can be complex and contradictory, needing to meet many technical requirements. Reaching agreement between designers, local authority planning, roads departments and key agencies, such as Scottish Water, often involves extensive negotiation.
This area of design responds to climate change considerations. More work is needed to rationalize criteria on drainage, street materials or utilities; and to facilitate better communication between stakeholders who have different responsibilities for different aspects of the built outcome.
Therefore we are building a resource base that illustrates how the placemaking aspirations of developments can connect with details at ground level. These case studies publicize good practice on the resolution of technical ‘street detail’ aspects within Designing Streets. They show that collaboration between urban design and engineering can result in the confidence to allow ‘streets for people’ to be built. They highlight where specific issues such as material palettes, or maintenance regimes have been agreed, resulting in infrastructure that becomes a positive amenity.