موضوع : اطلاعات از فرانسیس تیبالدز
2014/12/13، 02:14 PM
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Francis Tibbalds -his life and legacy Andy Karski
Francis Tibbalds -
his Life and Legacy
Andy Karski, a partner in the practice Francis Tibbalds founded, summarises his contribution to the professional world
Francis TibbaldsThe existence and success of the Urban Design Group, together with the central locus that urban design now has in British planning policy and practice, probably owes more to Francis Tibbalds than to any other one individual. Francis lived, breathed and championed the causes of good urban design and inter-professional collaboration until his untimely death in January 1992 at the age of 50. Sadly this was just before the publication of his book, Making People Friendly Towns, his seminal work synthesising and crystallising his philosophy, experience and astute observations which had hitherto been expressed in decades' worth of numerous articles, conference papers and speeches in the UK and abroad.
The contribution that Francis and his work made to the cause of good urban design took many forms, was influenced by many experiences in his early and professional life, and was driven by deep-seated fundamental beliefs, and passions forged and honed over many years. I was fortunate enough to know him as a friend and professional colleague for over 20 years, and in this article hope to reflect briefly on his life and career, which established him by the late 1980s and early 1990s as one of Britain's leading figures in urban design, and certainly, in his time, its most vociferous and articulate proponent.
Francis Tibbalds (pictured to the right) was born in 1941 and was educated at Farnham Grammar School in Surrey. His passion for art and design and his interest in environmental issues and interesting places and buildings led him to study architecture at the then Regent Street Polytechnic (now University of Westminster) from 1959 to 1966. There his design potential stood out and he was awarded the RIBA's prizes for both Intermediate and Finals students. His interest in urban design was articulated in his final year project which involved designing a significant new urban quarter within the historic heart of Guildford. Rather than focussing on designing an individual building he concentrated on integrating complex contemporary building elements within a sensitive urban context. This fusion of imaginative architecture with contextual townscape earned him the Robert Mitchell Medal for Architecture.
Work on Milton KeynesHaving gained architectural experience during the course of his architectural studies with Seifert and Partners and Wilson and Womersley, he joined Guildford Borough Council's planning department. There in 1967 he led a team preparing three-dimensional development proposals for the historic core of the town centre, building on the ideas in his thesis design.
His interest in locating design within a broader environmental and decision-making context motivated him to study town and country planning at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College, London, where he qualified as a planner with an MPhil in 1969. It was there that he met Janet MacDonald, another postgraduate planning student, whom he married in 1969, and who strongly encouraged and supported him throughout his subsequent career. It was also at the Bartlett where he first met Walter Bor, one of his most influential and eminent teachers who remained a friend and mentor. Francis stood out to Walter as one of his brightest and most talented planning students, to the extent that he recruited him into this own practice, Llewelyn-Davies Weeks Forestier-Walker and Bor.
At Llewelyn-Davies Francis worked with Walter Bor as the principal architect planner on the Milton Keynes Plan from 1969 to 1970. He made his mark by integrating architectural and planning thought and promoting a human scale urban design grain within the Plan's somewhat car-orientated super-grid.
Local government involvement
Francis always had a profound respect for the British planning system, despite its various shortcomings. He believed firmly in strong, democratic local government and in public consultation. He also had a deep fascination for and love of London as one of the most exciting and vibrant world cities, and in 1970 he joined Westminster City Council as the principal architect planner in the planning department's urban design group. There he prepared various design proposals for London's West End, the most significant of which was for the comprehensive renewal of Piccadilly Circus and the surrounding area. Those of us who worked with him at the time benefited enormously from the freely given, sensitive urban design advice he gave on numerous development proposals that were flooding the department during the commercial property boom years of the early 1970s. At a time when Westminster City Council was pursuing comprehensive redevelopment options for Piccadilly Circus in parallel with the GLC's conservation-led approach to the regeneration of Covent Garden, Francis found the former approach wanting.
In 1972 Francis joined the London Borough of Lambeth as the Deputy Chief Planning Officer. There he learned much of the hurly-burly of local politics, and the need for clear advocacy, persuasion and public consultation. He chaired the policy group responsible for the Planning and Development Programme of the
Council's Corporate Plan, and encouraged collaboration and joined-up thinking by different departments with different professional and political perspectives.
While planning at a strategic level he continued to promote action-orientated place-making and good urban design in two major Action Areas. His advocacy skills were honed in giving evidence at public inquiries as well as in addressing numerous public meetings.
His time in local government service forged a number of passionately held attitudes which endured throughout his subsequent career. While recognising the political nature of much of what planning is about, Francis believed strongly in the clear distinction between the professional advice of officers and the decision-making process of politicians, local or central. Environmental professionals in his view had a responsibility to make clear and reasoned recommendations to politicians in local and central government and to clients in private practice. Open-ended reports without conclusions or recommendations were considered an abrogation of professional responsibility or a symptom of fear of politicians and paymasters. Neither was acceptable to him, and he encouraged colleagues and employees to develop and hold firm views, not only on planning and urban design issues but also on wider issues of social justice, environmental responsibility and citizen empowerment.
He set a fine example himself, in his own professional work, in the causes he espoused and in the outspoken views he expressed about a wide range of topical issues. He railed at the political inaction on poverty and homelessness and took up cudgels with Margaret Thatcher during her prime ministership in correspondence and in the press. He despaired at the lack of investment in public transport in London and the regions, while being open in his criticism of the Docklands Light Railway, which in its early days he regarded as something of a gimmick.
The market-led Enterprise Zone approach to development in London's docklands in the early years of the London Docklands Development Corporation was to him a negation of planning and urban design. He was not afraid to say in public what many thought privately, and was outspoken in his criticism of the Canary Wharf development. This he regarded as a culturally alien and brutal imposition of a transatlantic scale and style on London which would also mar famous views of the Royal Naval College at Greenwich.
Francis was a firm believer in integrated land-use and transportation planning at a regional scale and campaigned vociferously against the abolition of the Metropolitan County Councils by the Conservative government in the mid 1980s. He especially opposed the abolition of the Greater London Council and could not accept then or subsequently that the world-city he loved should not have any form of democratically accountable city governance.
It is in the world of consultancy where Francis made his greatest professional mark. With a thirst for broadening his professional experience and expanding his already wide international frame of reference, Francis left Lambeth City Council in 1974 to join Group 5 (Nigeria) Limited. As the joint project director acting for the Kwara State Government he prepared masterplans for 12 rural townships. With highly focussed multidisciplinary working the task was completed by 1975, and Francis re-joined Llewelyn-Davies Weeks as Director of Planning.
Over the following few years Francis ran the planning practice and its projects in the United Kingdom and abroad. Perhaps the most significant of these was the Birmingham Inner Area Study for the Department of the Environment which culminated in the publication of the final report Unequal City by HMS0 in 1977. This dealt primarily with the social, economic and environmental problems of the inner city and ways of ameliorating them.
Overseas Francis was responsible for a variety of projects in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and the Sultanate of Oman. The highest profile and most urban-design orientated of these was on the proposals for Shahestan Pahlavi, envisaged as the new city centre for Tehran, the capital of Iran. While the subsequent deposition of the Shah put paid to that particular vision, the reports that were produced and the ideas in them remain seminal examples of exquisitely crafted and presented contemporary urban design. Indeed the project was awarded the 1977-78 Progressive Architecture Urban Design Award.
In 1978 Francis set up his own architectural and planning practice with four of his former colleagues. From the outset he sought to work in a multi-disciplinary way, not just with in-house architects and planners but also with other related professionals - engineers, landscape architects, economists and surveyors. He bridled at the entrenched and narrowly focussed views he encountered in the different professions and the cultural baggage they brought to bear on complex problems. As well as always being prepared to take issue with sometimes high profile figures, he also saw urban design as the obvious process by which different environmental perspectives could be fused to the common purpose of creating good places for people. In the absence of any forum promoting interdisciplinary working and urban design he sought to set one up together with several like-minded individuals. Francis became Chairman of the Urban Design Group in 1979, remaining so until 1986 while it grew in size and influence.
His practice flourished and underwent various incarnations and name changes, culminating in Tibbalds Colbourne Karski Williams Monro Ltd at the time of his death, and now trading as Tibbalds TM2. He worked with passion and enthusiasm on a huge variety of projects both in the UK and overseas. Probably best known of these was BUDS (Birmingham Urban Design Studies). This seminal city centre design strategy set out how the centre of Birmingham could be radically transformed over time to provide a vibrant, modern, pedestrian friendly environment by breaking the concrete collar of the inner ring road, promoting locally distinctive urban quarters and integrating a range of major urban design structural elements. This was followed by a series of quarter studies setting out development principles and design guidance. BUDS has served Birmingham well as a robust policy and design framework which has had a major role to play in re-shaping the city centre and creating the vibrant, continually improving place it is today.
Francis tirelessly promoted the causes of good urban design, the improvement of the public realm, mixed-use development and positive conservation in his practice's work on other major projects. These included the design of the Croydon Clockhouse complex and restoration of the old town hall, the Hammersmith Island site, Wimbledon town centre, the Kings Cross Railway Lands development and the initial LDDC masterplan for the Royal Victoria Docks (now West Silvertown Urban Village).
Overseas his planning and urban design overview for Melbourne and his report Marvellous Melbourne 2000 was hailed as a seminal work which raised urban design significantly on the agenda for that city. Over the past 10 years, even without him, the practice he founded has continued to espouse and develop the principles of good planning and design, which he had championed and articulated so effectively.
The RTPI presidency
In the minds of most planners and urban designers of the late '80s and many since, Francis was the person who re-energised the RTPI and the planning profession and put urban design firmly on the policy agenda. His proactive involvement in the Institute's affairs over many years on its Council culminated in 1988 with him becoming RTPI's most youthful and popular president. He chose his presidential theme carefully. 'Closing the Gaps' was clearly aimed at breaking down barriers and between different environmental professionals and promoting inter-disciplinary approaches to urban problems and good place-making, with urban design as the bridge builder. But it also encompassed far more political, social and professional issues. His agenda also addressed closing the gaps between the public, private and academic sectors, perception and reality, men and women in society and in planning, the 'haves' and 'have nots', short term expediency and resource conservation, the silent majority and vociferous minority, between different ethnic groups, and between UK planners and those in Europe and further afield. He promoted these themes tirelessly and effectively, lobbied government furiously, spread the message of good urban design nationally and internationally, and raised the profile of planning and urban design with government, the professions, the media and the general public.
He certainly achieved the latter when in 1988 he responded to a challenge from Prince Charles to produce 'ten commandments' for architecture and the built environment. These will strike a familiar chord as the messages they convey appear in numerous strands of policy and design guidance now being promoted by government and bodies such as English Partnerships and CABE. In summary they were:
• consider places before buildings
• learn from the past and respect context
• design on a human scale
• encourage freedom to walk about
• involve all sections of the community
• build legible environments
• build to last and adapt
• avoid change on too great a scale
• promote intricacy, joy and visual delight.
Francis was very effective at advocating his ideas and promoting good planning and design, particularly during and after his presidential year. His efforts contributed to design becoming embedded in planning policy (Annex A of PPG1), and paved the way for the subsequent raising of urban design on central and local government agendas. He championed the reinforcement of urban design education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and devoted much energy to lecturing and external examining. In 1991 he was appointed Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning. He managed to inspire not only young professionals and students but ordinary people as well, somehow finding time to give talks at primary and secondary schools, careers conferences and to community groups.
The legacy of what he achieved and the principles he espoused have spread through a Diaspora of people he influenced, taught and worked with. Not least it is encapsulated in his book Making People Friendly Towns which was published in hardback shortly after his death in 1992. A more affordable softback edition is now available. This is a beautifully presented book, lavishly illustrated and including a wealth of the evocative pen and ink drawings which were one of his hallmarks. It sets out the principles of good urban design in practice and concludes with a polemic agenda for action, much of which is coming to pass. The world of planning, urban design and not least the Urban Design Group has much to remember Francis Tibbalds by, and much to thank him for.
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2014/12/14، 12:03 PM
Joining It All Together
One of the great problems with present day 'placemaking' is that each of the environmental professions - architects, planners, engineers, landscape architects - have become over-concerned with their own particular skill as a separate activity. The most successful and likable urban environments tend, however, to be those where all the components - buildings, trees, roads, spaces, people, traffic - have been blended or joined together to make interesting, lively and attractive places or series of places. The concern of urban design is firstly to get this mix to happen at all and secondly to get the mix right.
As a frequent visitor to the Netherlands, it has always seemed to me that this densely populated European country has traditionally done rather well in the joining-together aspects of urban design. Amsterdam and The Hague remain among my favourite cities not just for the obvious scenic beauty of canals, bridges and gabled facades, but more for the vitality of their urban transport systems, in which the limited available space is shared by pedestrians, bicycles, trains, taxis and cars. The mix varies in different parts of the city - I noted on my last visit that Leids Straat has now been pedestrianised, but still accommodates the occasional bright yellow tram - a somewhat alarming mix, but one that Amsterdammers seem to take in their stride.
The densely built-up older residential suburbs have been harder to cope with than the city centres or the truly rural areas, and the concentration of pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists in dense areas traversed by narrow streets and canals has often resulted in fairly nasty accidents. A new approach was demanded by Dutch citizens and resulted in a unique concept called the 'Woonerf', which is now finding its way into planning terminology outside Holland.
The solution was deceptively simple and one which might also have wide applicability to the towns and cities of the UK. Each street or residential area is considered and designed as a whole - an integrated system of uses and activities accommodating bikes and every sort of traffic, but emphasising the priority of residential and living functions over vehicles. Woonerven are not traffic-free or pedestrianised areas, nor is there any sub division of the street surface into separate areas for pedestrians and cars. In principle, all kinds of vehicles (except through traffic) may enter but their movement, speed and parking is controlled by design features such as bottlenecks, bends, planting, placing of tubs and street furniture, and bumps in the floorscape.
Urban Design Group Quarterly, November 1980
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Masterplanning Futures, Lucy Bullivant’s latest book published by Routledge in 2012, has been shortlisted for the Urban Design Group’s Francis Tibbalds Award. For the fourth year running, the Urban Design Group (UDG) Awards programme will include a Book Award named in memory of the exceptional UK urban planner Francis Tibbalds, who championed the causes of good urban design until his untimely death in January 1992, aged 50.
Eight finalists have been selected and each is reviewed by a different member of the review panel chaired by Alastair Donald, including Juliet Bidgood, Marc Furnival, Jonathan Kendall and Laurie Mentiplay. The panel will choose the winner, which will be announced at the UDG Awards event in February 2014.
Founded in 1978, the Urban Design Group is a campaigning membership organisation with over 1000 members who care about the quality of life in our cities, towns and villages, and believe that raising standards of urban design is central to its improvement.
Juliet Bidgood, Co-Director of NEAT, reviewed Masterplanning Futures in issue 128 of Urban Design, Autumn 2013, the UDG Journal:
‘As a timely panorama of approaches to masterplanning emerging across the urbanizing world, Masterplanning Futures explores the challenges facing the city in the 21st century and the role of the plan in shaping them physically and ergo socially, politically and economically. What kinds of plans should these be? Indeed Bullivant asks what plans are for, if not to ‘defy the disappointing, inadequate or anachronistic reality of many earlier speculations’.
Set against the wider horizon appearing in the wake of the global economic crisis, this book presents a thoroughly researched argument for a reclaimed approach to masterplanning. A lively, discursive introduction charts how masterplans can no longer be singular, top-down prescriptions but must offer a collective vision and operate as a framework that can be adapted over time. There is a new deftness to the plans that Bullivant exemplifies. These propose carefully evidenced, resourceful, spatial structures that work across scales from the city region to the street.
All together an account of the process of developing twenty adaptive urban plans is organized into ten chapters each articulating the myriad of contexts driving the plans. Some of the themes such as post-industrial urban regeneration, urban growth and landscape driven plans are familiar but still instructive. The account of the creation of the Ørestad strip in Copenhagen shows how a clear strategic plan coupled with an iterative design competition process can lead to a crisp, characterful assembly of buildings and spaces. The Milan citywide Metrogramma plan and Brisbane’s Smart Cities Strategy show how plans can skillfully converge and give coherence to growth while remaking a more legible infrastructure.
The chapters on post-disaster urban regeneration and social equity show how intelligent urban design thinking can embed and enable resilience in cities. The reconstruction plan for Constitución, Chile, integrates future environmental mitigation and amenity improvement. In Medellín, Colombia, strategic urban interventions aim to combat social exclusion up-cycling city districts by improving transport and educational infrastructure and hence economic mobility.
While emphasizing the informal and social dynamics of cities, Masterplanning Futures celebrates the struggle for coherent urban form. This is seen in MVRDV’s ebullient work in the Netherlands and Spain, OMA’s Qianhai Port City, China, and in a number of projects that expand parametric design to a city scale. Or in the beguiling Saemangeum Island City, South Korea, by ARU that is made from idealized city pieces borrowed from Barceloneta, Malmö, Paris, New York…
There is an almost mythical quality to the place called city – where those that have achieved a certain convergence of cultures and resources become iconic in the map of the world - the pleasure of them transcending the work they are made of. Masterplanning Futures makes a worthwhile casebook for these possible cities.’
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2014/12/14، 10:18 PM
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