Small sites exist throughout the built environment in many forms, such as rubbish-filled plots of land, missing streetscape fabric above retail units, run-down or vacant properties, or swathes of dilapidated garages. Gaps can have formed in the existing urban fabric for a variety of reasons, such as where the built environment has developed with conflicting strategies (street-facing terraces or set-back blocks) or in different eras (period properties vs. post-war development).
Spaces that Detract
Neglected, barren and rubbish filled spaces between council blocks, surrounded by blank gables with “no ball games” and “keep off the grass” signs - these types of spaces detract from an area and are all red flags for this survey of underutilised space. Amenity space in estates and green areas between buildings and the street are not opportunities for development, and hence are not reflected as infill opportunities in the Small Sites database.
Making Better Places
Small Sites can be more than just provision of housing and infill development. Quality architecture makes better places, not just within the boundary of a development, but for the wider area, instilling pride, ownership and a sense of place in a neighbourhoods inhabitants. Quality architecture has the capacity to bridge gaps, both in society and cityscape, and may encourage the healing of other divisions less obvious than those of the built environment. This field study is a record of opportunities for architectural interventions throughout the cityscape.