The City of Brighton and Hove is facing intense pressure to accommodate housing growth. Located between a national park and the sea, options to expand geographically are limited. The solution is to increase residential densities, but does the council do this without compromising the city’s unique quality and qualities and those of its many distinctive neighbourhoods?
However, with poor examples from the late twentieth century blighting some neighbourhoods, many have grown wary of higher density development. To engage the city in a dialogue about growth we organised and facilitated a major design workshop; the 2016 City Charrette.
We facilitated the workshop, helping stakeholders develop a shared definition of good growth and to collaborate on proposals for where and how growth could be best accommodated. From the busy centre and grand seafront, to the back streets and more sedate suburbs, there are many different conditions and contexts across the city. Through small group working, participants looked at ten different contexts and explored options for the densification of each; with the results reflecting the fact that integrating new development at higher densities is a complex issue where no singular approach can be applied.