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Masterplanning

We design sustainable places in balance with the aspirations of communities.


Integrated urbanism, Arup’s approach to masterplanning, acknowledges the interdependence of urban systems and communities as well as the effects of global issues, such as climate change resilience and economic uncertainty, on the future of our cities.

The origins of our approach are demonstrated in urban renewal successes such as Stockley Park, the Broadgate Development and most recently Stratford City, a new metropolitan centre for London.

Arup has shaped visions for developments ranging from plans for sustainable growth in Vietnam, and to sports cities in Singapore and the Gulf, from city centre regeneration in the Netherlands and South Africa to new towns in the UK and Australia.

People and place

Our masterplanning proposals are built on our insight into the way places influence wellbeing, work and lifestyle, as well as technical understanding of interconnected systems such as transport, energy, waste and information.

We test and refine our proposals with tools and analysis that join up the quantifiable and subjective aspects of spatial, social, environmental and economic context.

For Wanzhuang eco-city, we examined how China’s rural landscape relates to food supply, ecology, cultural heritage and wellbeing, to explore how spatial strategies can close the urban–rural gap.

Through well-designed night-time lighting, we make urban spaces better places to live, work and play. For Central Park, Songdo, we designed bridge lighting to guide pedestrians at night.

Delivery and implementation

Arup’s track record lends confidence to investment in urban development – we deliver plans that meet regulatory approval, and go on to successful implementation. Key to our success is collaboration with partners and stakeholders, which aids progression from design to delivery.

For London’s Stratford City, which is opening in stages up to 2020, we created a masterplan in conjunction with Fletcher Priest, West 8 and 20 other architectural practices. This included four years of community consultation. From that process emerged sustainability guidance for design, construction and development, which was passed on to developers as statutory regulations. We created a panel that continues to review sustainability. Early measurements show the success of this strategy in carbon savings that look set to exceed our initial goals.

Places that evolve

Arup’s masterplanners understand how placemaking can shape the future of a location. The Regeneration Initiative for the Co-operative Group in Manchester is delivering urban working and living environments that will attract local and international investment, transforming the future of the city centre.

Meanwhile, in Zuidas, Amsterdam, we are helping to re-imagine the city’s central corridor – currently dominated by above-ground infrastructure – as a series of diverse, thriving neighbourhoods. Our plans open space for development but also bring focus to issues like climate change resilience, for instance by considering the effects of rising sea level on the economic viability and delivery of a new commercial district.

Innovation

Urban environments are becoming increasingly complex; issues such as changes to household makeup, land scarcity, air quality and noise require innovative solutions. Arup’s technical understanding of all layers of the built environment allows our masterplanners to redefine urban living and working practices.

In the UK, plans for Project Pinewood will demonstrate a novel model for living and working, while establishing new sustainability standards in the film and media industries. A new town we are designing in Western Australia explores ways in which rural living environments can contribute to natural systems and bio-diversity.

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Global contact

  • Malcolm Smith

    Malcolm Smith

    Your best solution to date?

    Stratford City masterplan, London, UK.

    Why is it significant?

    It is the creation of a new metropolitan centre in East London, that came about because of the high speed rail Arup convinced the government to be located there, was fundamental in the successful London Olympic bid, became the Olympic village, has become one of the most successful retail centres in Europe, and is key to transforming this long ignored piece of London.

    Your particular skill?

    Visionary masterplans that marry local and global issues to create authentic places for people.

    Enthusiasm?

    Seeing ideas become real places.

    Why Arup?

    Designing cities needs confident humility - the essence of Arup.

    Anything else?

    Trust your instincts when you design

  • Global Masterplanning and Urban Design Leader

Explore our work


Artist impression of pedestrian main link between Pinewood's main core and Pinewood Studios. Credit: Vyonyx.

Project: Pinewood 'Green Film' masterplan

Helping world-famous film studios recognise standards for green and ‘zero carbon’ initiatives.

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Crop from larger artist's impression of the Wanzhuang eco-city development.

Project: Wanzhuang eco-city

Development of a city accommodating approximately 400,000 by 2025.

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Cooperative regeneration framework.

Project: Co-operative Group regeneration framework

Masterplanning for a landmark 20a city-centre site.

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