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The Prince of Wales releases ten ‘Geometric Principles’

The Prince of Wales has released ten ‘Geometric Principles’ which he believes will help guide architects and designers in urban masterplanning. The principles are as follows:

- Developments must respect the land. They should not be intrusive; they should be designed to fit within the landscape they occupy

- Architecture is a language. We have to abide by the grammatical ground rules, otherwise dissonance and confusion abound. This is why a building code can be so valuable

- Scale is also key. Not only should buildings relate to human proportions, they should correspond to the scale of the other buildings and elements around them

- Harmony - the playing together of all parts. The look of each building should be in tune with its neighbours, which does not mean creating uniformity

- The creation of well-designed enclosures. Rather than clusters of separate houses set at jagged angles, spaces that are bounded and enclosed by buildings are not only more visually satisfying, they encourage walking and feel safer

- Materials also matter. For buildings to look as if they belong, we need to draw on local building materials and regional traditional styles

- Signs, lights and utilities. They can be easily overused. We should also bury as many wires as possible and limit signage

- The pedestrian must be at the centre of the design process. Streets must be reclaimed from the car

- Density. Space is at a premium, but we do not have to resort to high-rise tower blocks which alienate and isolate

- Flexibility. Rigid, conventional planning and rules of road engineering render all the above instantly null and void, but I have found it is possible to build flexibility into schemes and I am pleased to say that many of the innovations we have tried out in the past 20 years are now reflected in national engineering guidance, such as The Manual for Streets

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