Public realm

Public realm is commonly defined as ‘any space that is free and open to everyone’. The London Plan describes it as ‘the space between and within buildings that is publicly accessible, including streets, squares, forecourts, parks and open spaces’. Link has extensive experience of work on Public Realm schemes, whether part of a new urban expansion associated with the delivery of schools or community facilities, or part of town or city centre regenerations.

These schemes require our engineers to use a broad range of skills to negotiate the often-complex highway authority approval process for non-standard design elements. We are often instructed to propose a higher specification finish using blends of block paving and integrating areas of landscaping within the proposals. Link’s design work supports the development of high-quality Public Realm, working closely with Landscape Architects to ensure that the scheme aspirations are maintained but also that the installed works are ultimately suitable for adoption by the highway authority. Our works within these schemes have resulted in prepared designs for developers and local authorities.

An important part of Public Realm design is Integrated Urban Infrastructure (IUI) as often Public Realm schemes are in established high streets where there is extensive existing underground infrastructure which needs to be considered as part of the scheme. We understand the importance of working within these constraints and alterations to the proposed layout are made as required. In addition, Link has also designed to IUI which allows for the future provision of services without the need to disturb the Public Realm and also to form the provision of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) using methods such as raingardens.

Public realm projects can also interact with underground structures which may often include car parks or basements as well as tunnels and culverts and we possess key experience in these areas.

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What Link can offer you?

We’re always happy to have an initial chat about your needs, whether you have a project you’d like some advice on, or you’re looking for a career opportunity with us. Please get in touch and a member of our senior management team will contact you.