Yo! I’m Tommy, I’m 23 years old and hail from the North of England! I graduated from Newcastle University in 2016 with a degree in Urban Planning before becoming a District Councillor, where I represented a small and resilient community based on Alston Moor in Cumbria. Following a brief spell in local politics, I’ve returned to the Toon; the city of my rival football club (that’s right, I support Sunderland…)
Why urban design? I chose to study MAUD because of urban design’s holistic and creative principles, where all factors of the urban fabric are studied with the intention of forming clever and imaginative design-based solutions to issues that planning and architecture alone fail to address effectively. One of which would be the massive overdependence on the private automobile, particularly in developed countries. Widening the roads is currently the policy, only this invites more traffic! By the same logic if we were to tactically remove car provision in cities then would we invite less cars? Space could be returned to the pedestrian; the walkers, the runners, the cyclists, the sitters, the people watchers etc. – democracy. Furthermore, I also have a passion for environmentally conscious design, particularly with regards to small to large scale housing projects through for example, passive house design and community farming.
In my spare time I enjoy playing guitar, cooking, reading, film, philosophy, stand up comedy and the list goes on. I especially like to travel and observe cities myself, because I can see how urban design takes on a cultural context which is reflective of the society it grows from.

My First Blogging Experience

Until now, I’ve never blogged before (I hope it doesn’t show), but I can say that it’s been thoroughly enjoyable. My first term, and in particular the module, Principles and Practice of Urban Design, has been especially insightful. We have covered a vast range of material, ranging from various different perspectives, taught by professionals and…
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Comment on Urban Design in the UK Planning System by Richard Keeling

Richard’s take on urban design in the UK planning system is insightful. By drawing attention to some of the faults of general practices – i.e. overlooking fundamental design principles like higher density, functional green space and inclusive public realm – Richard looks towards how true high quality design can create genuine, high quality places. Richard…
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Comment on “Potentials of Blue-Green Infrastructure”, by Tomonaga Kosaku

Tomo covered the advantages of integrating blue-green infrastructure into the urban form. There are multiple benefits related to lifestyle, physical and mental health, as well as tackling the effects of climate-change. As the global urban population continues to increase, cities will need to absorb more rain in less time in order to prevent flooding. At…
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Dynamic Neighbourhoods: Social Mixing and Building Communities

My previous post, ‘Compact Cities: The Battle Against the Car’, focused on how the urban form can help create cities of short distances, breaking down the reliance on the private automobile, in hope that one day, cities can function without reliance on the car. Focusing on a somewhat macro-level, compact cities raise questions over quality…
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Compact Form: The Battle Against The Car

How do we create a sustainable model of urban transport? Furthermore, how are urban form and urban transportation related to one another? Does the form of a city determine how it is used in terms of transit and movement?  This post covers my reflections from a lecture we received on Sustainable Urban Transport, as part…
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Charrette: “Don’t Fluff Your Lines”

Newcastle University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape kicked off the year with their annual design Charrette; a giant, week long project where everybody from the whole school participates! “Don’t fluff your lines” was our theme for the week and we, as a team of architects, planners and landscape architects decided to the give the…
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