Milton Keynes Western Expansion Area
The Define team led the masterplanning, movement coding, landscape framework plan and detailed landscape proposals, public art strategy and urban design code for the Western Expansion Area at Milton Keynes, initially whilst at Capita Lovejoy, and latterly whilst at Define. The Western Expansion Area (circa 6,500 units) is made up of two separate zones (Area 10 and Area 11) and we prepared the site wide landscape strategy, detailed landscape concept and public art strategy for both areas, and separately the masterplan, and movement/urban design codes for Area 11 (2,400 units). A combination of our joined up urban design, landscape design and public art capability, as well as our understanding of development requirements and the successes and pitfalls of the coding process, has delivered a successful and adopted design code. Our approach in this regard has been valued and recognised by our client as being a key factor in the project’s success. In particular, the establishment of key character areas based on vernacular features, and how this approach has led to a series of feature squares and special places, have been recognised as a very appropriate means of organising character in a way that positively responds to setting and also permeates through the whole design realisation of the project. Our ability to work quickly and be flexible to address emerging issues, whether technical or political, has also been appreciated. Development of Phase 1 has now commenced and Define have been commissioned to produce two additional residential design codes for further phases within the expansion area.