This benefit is about how the form and character of the built and non-built urban environment and their perception generates a ‘sense of place’ or identity. The continuing changes in the urban environment (urban morphology) is also included in this benefit. A townscape includes all aspects of the urban form, not just heritage aspects or those that are architecturally designed, and it can interplay and be affected by heritage and cultural value (11.1 Impact on heritage and cultural value), the sense of community and perceptions of safety (2.1 Impact on perceptions of safety and security).
Physical characteristics, such as street patterns, the navigability of the urban environment from a human perspective, buildings, public places and architecture, scale, open spaces and community infrastructure, are important components of this benefit. However, it is also the social aspects, the perception of the place and other aspects such as air quality and noise, that create a ‘townscape’.
This benefit includes how people move through and use the space and the activities that occur within it, which can also be relevant to benefit 10.2 Impact on mode choice. The conceptual mix of movement and place in relation to transport is reflected in the One Network Framework (ONF), which has recently been introduced into transport sector planning.
Investments and programmes that may contribute to this benefit include those that directly impact urban form or characteristics, such as cityscape projects, those that create shared streets or make use of place for multiple transport modes, and other investments and programmes that impact on townscape as a co-benefit.
This benefit can impact both users and non-users of the place and can have an intergenerational impact.
The qualitative measure of townscape focuses on the townscape features – layout, density and mix, scale, appearance, human interaction, cultural, land use and summary of character.
Measures marked * are qualitative.
For more information about these measures see Land Transport Benefits Framework measures manual.