What kind of places is it for?

Existing places or new development

The Place Standard can be applied to an existing place or community, or assessments can focus on a development site. For new places, it is likely that the assessment will consider adjoining areas that are conveniently accessible and that contain existing elements of place which impact upon, or could link to, proposals (such as public service facilities, shops, etc.).

Different scales of places

The tool can work at different scales. It allows a wide degree of flexibility across different scales of place. It is suited to neighbourhoods or parts of cities or large towns, as well as the whole of a small town, village, or set of villages. The important issue is that the place assessed should have a coherent sense of identity for the output to be useful.

Examples of assessment considerations for different sizes of settlement are listed below. Some of the terms used may not always be present, for instance streets or neighbourhoods might not be distinct in a village setting, but they should help to agree the scale of place being considered and to define it within a wider context.

The accompanying diagrams show different sizes of place with the scale in red considered the most likely to be the focus of assessment. However smaller or larger scales could be the basis of applying the tool. A community is shown at the centre but for new development an assessment would consider people who will use the development once it is occupied.

Case studies will be developed to demonstrate different examples of the sizes of place where the tool has been applied.

A street, neighbourhood or district as part of a city or town

Assessments at this scale consider a neighbourhood that people identify with as ‘their place’. It assesses a street, group of streets or area within a city or town but the wider settlement is not assessed as a whole. The neighbourhood or district is the local area, probably including non-residential elements, to which local people have access and use on a regular basis. There is a wide diversity of sizes and mixes of neighbourhood where the tool can apply. New housing areas or development sites could be at the centre of the assessment.

Defining a neighbourhood in a town or city
In urban areas there are administrative boundaries linked to service provision. However, the perceived neighbourhood boundary that local people identify with may be considered more relevant. An assessment should not be constrained by arbitrary boundaries.

A town or village

Applying the tool at the scale of a town, or perhaps a village, could look at the whole settlement. There may be parts of the settlement that could be considered separately as a road or street, groups of streets, or neighbourhoods. But also, the assessor(s) could respond to the place’s single coherent identity, perhaps because the main services and facilities are shared across the town. Like the previous scale, applying the tool could centre on any size or type of new development proposals.

Linked villages or clusters of settlements

Likely to be for more rural areas, the tool could consider villages or hamlets grouped together as a whole. Whether they have shared facilities, a shared geography or other factors, the reasoning for assessing more than one community at a time would be that there is a good degree of common identity, but it is up to the individual or group of assessors to decide this. Like the previous scales, an assessment could include any size or type of development proposals sited within the area.