Spatial quality and attractiveness of place

The attractiveness of our cities, villages and countryside largely depends on the coherence of buildings, use of colour and materials, the presence of plants and or water and the relative amount of each component. In the Netherlands requirements concerning spatial quality are laid down in urban quality plans and supplementary planning guidance notes on design in urban areas together with environmental integration plans and supplementary planning guidance notes on conservation in the countryside. It is possible that the council demands a proper integration of development sites in the surrounding landscape or a quality plan for new buildings and other constructions. By attaching this to the planning application the spatial quality of the site is made legally binding in the Netherlands. We have extensive experience with image quality issues from small (a single new home or outbuilding) to large (new residential area or recreational park) projects and everything in between. Our clients are both private individuals and companies (project developers) and municipalities.

Spatial quality is not only about the buildings but also about the interplay of buildings and greenery. Greenery is important both in the city and in the village and beyond. Trees, shrubs, perennials and grass are more than a collection of green leaves. They provide oxygen, purify the air and capture particulate matter. But plants are equally important for giving structure to and forming an attractive decorative element for garden, street, park, square and landscape. It is therefore important to think carefully about green spaces and their layout.

Where greenery is (or should be) within urban areas is often laid down in a green structure plan. The planting plan defines which species are to be used where. P15 (urban) landscapes always work from a situational approach to realize a strong green framework within which there is some flexibility with regard to the functional use. This green framework then determines the spatial quality of the new layout of a location or area.

We would like to tell you more about the possibilities and how your initiative could be improved by focusing on quality.