Lead urban designer, Fife council and founder of DPT Urban Design.
David founded the practice a little under a year ago with the aim of bringing collaborative and effective decision-making experience to planning and development projects. In this short time, collaborations have delivered Charrettes and training events with more projects in the pipeline. Core services also include masterplanning, site assessments and engagement.
This year David featured in Building magazines rising stars of Sustainability.
What other European cities in your opinion are leading the way with urban design and why?
The place I tend to find myself looking towards is Copenhagen. I’ve listened to Tina Saaby (City Architect) on a number of occasions explain the policies, projects and approaches that support the process of creating places for people, clearly influenced by Jan Gehl. The most obvious sign of Copenhagen’s influence in Scotland is the city’s key policy phase of ‘urban life before urban space, urban space before buildings’ adorns the front page of the Scottish Government’s recently published policy on Creating Places. Adopting and delivering on this simple approach is a challenge we should all embrace now, there’s never been a better opportunity.
What do you feel is the greatest challenge when it comes to designing for environmentally sustainability?
The challenge is to synthesize the range of policy priorities down to very clear approach and then align the activities of those who influence, shape, own or adopt our built environment to ensure it happens. Issues highlighted at a strategic design level as an environmental priority may get lost or diluted as proposals progress through layers of the planning process. A development may have ‘green buildings’ but the streets and spaces may not encourage people to get outside or walk to everyday destinations thereby impacting climate change.
Who inspires you?
My inspiration comes from the day-to-day conversations with colleagues and fellow built environment professionals. A single fact, sometimes overlooked, can help link a number of bigger ideas and make the whole idea work.