Landlab has a developed an entirely new approach to neighbourhood design: Adaptive Development. While incorporating aspects of New Urbanism, we focus primarily on the specific land on which our neighbourhoods are developed. Adaptive developments seek to design and build meaningful places that are responsive to their surroundings and ultimately create economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable communities for people and nature. In this way, each project is as unique as the land on which it is developed. We reject the traditional notions of zoning in favour of people-centred form and function and we have demonstrated that this approach constitutes a win/win for residents, communities and developers.
PRINCIPLES OF ADAPTIVE DEVELOPMENT
Listen to the land
What does the topography, geography, or location suggest about what the land should be used for? Is there an existing vocation for the land? Does the community currently interact with the land in any particularly important way? What natural or environmental conditions exist and how will they be protected or managed?
Listen to the market
What is the current local market demanding? Will that market remain static indefinitely or is there a particular short-term demand? What are the likely longer-term commercial vocations for the site?
Design for place
Define open space as one would define built form. Open spaces should act as ‘rooms’ in the greater ‘building’ that is the site.
Create social spaces
Relationships between commercial/civic buildings must be to human scale and promote comfortable, social places for people to move and mingle. Ideally, space between buildings should be designed as ‘hallways’ between the ‘rooms’ of open space and built form.
Scale to surroundings
Plans need to focus on the physical integration of site in the context of the surrounding neighbourhood and scaled accordingly.
Commerce—including business(es) that allow for social interaction—should be included in plans.
Protect architectural consistency
Architectural style can be mixed from unit to unit, but not within a single unit. Building massing must be consistent by block, and minor variation should be symmetrical to the block.
Ensure frontage interacts with streetscape
Building fronts must be adjacent to public walkways and present an articulated face to the street or pathway.
People first, cars second
Car traffic/parking integration must be secondary to human use of place. Share parking where possible.
Integrate site with surroundings
Design must include real/practical links between the new development and existing surroundings.