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Urban development

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Atkins is a major force in urban development. We design cities throughout the world, delivering sustainable solutions to best meet the needs of modern populations.

About

As Europe’s largest multidisciplinary consultancy, Atkins is uniquely positioned to add value to every part of urban development and urban regeneration.

Masterplanning and project management

Our work includes projects in transport, energy, water and environment, building design, industry, communications, masterplanning and project management, health and education infrastructure. For every project, we have experts with insight and sensitivity to local community issues, the political and socio-economic climate and the imperative of providing urban development that makes a lasting legacy for future generations.

Urban development partnerships

We work in close partnership with local government organisations, developers and local communities to plan, design and enable projects that add value for all stakeholders. Our clients range from large public sector organisations and private/public partnerships to multinational corporations, as well as individual private developers such as those in the Middle East region.

FEATURES

Expertise

Urban development consists of many different specialists coming together with one common goal – the development of inspiring and sustainable cities.

Some of our specialist areas of expertise in this sector include:

Masterplanning

Our masterplanners’ emphasis is on design excellence, supported by a breadth of multidisciplinary skills and technical expertise at every stage of the process.

For more information on our masterplanning expertise, download our brochure

Landscape design

Atkins’ landscape designers have a flair for creating imaginative and memorable spaces, blending the technical demands of a brief with the natural constraints of location.

Transport planning

The transport system is an integral component of any modern development plan. If planned effectively, the transport system can make a major contribution towards the overall success of a development by providing efficient connections to existing neighbouring areas and helping to create a high quality environment within the development site itself.

Local development frameworks

Atkins has a strong track record of working with local authorities. We work by fostering excellent relationships with our clients and ensure we have a detailed understanding of our clients’ wider objectives, an in-depth understanding of key technical issues, and that we apply leading-edge thinking.

Public realm design

Atkins is passionate about creating innovative, elegant and practical solutions for all facets of public realm design. These solutions are informed by historic context and character to bring about a strong sense of identity and place.

Sustainability and environmental consultancy

We provide a comprehensive range of services to help public and private sector organisations characterise, assess, quantify and manage their relationship with the natural environment. We aim to respond to the environmental, social and resource challenges facing us today and into the future, as well as to prepare for a changing climate.

Infrastructure engineering

Infrastructure, utility services and enabling works are required for all successful developments. Atkins provides strategic planning, design, project management and procurement support for infrastructure works on developments both on land and at sea.

International planning

Our key services are:

  • Tourism masterplanning and resort development
  • Integrated township development
  • Industrial planning
  • Mixed-use masterplanning
  • Strategic planning and policy advisory
  • Infrastructure planning

Angles

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Mark Harrison
05 May 2017

President Xi’s vision for Xiongan is to create a 2000 km2 national level new area with the same significance as Pudong and Shenzhen. The aim is also to create a model city with a clean environment, convenient transport links and high-tech industries to attract millions of people to work and live. Pudong, the financial district of Shanghai, and Shenzhen, a former fishing village that has turned into a metropolis of Southern China, have obviously been very successful in many aspects. Naturally people will question whether the Xiongan New Area will be able to replicate the success of its peers. Let’s bear in mind that the announcement is only a few weeks old. For a development of this scale, we are looking at 30 to 50 years before we can make a judgement if the development has succeeded or not. Nonetheless, there are some fundamental considerations to bear in mind as the area moves forward. Economic development The success of an urban area of this scale is based primarily on its economic fundamentals. The coastal areas of Shenzhen and Pudong were well-located to access external markets at a time when China’s focus was on export-led economic development. As the focus is now changing to that of stimulating domestic demand, it may well be that a more inland location is more appropriate. However, as Hebei Province, where Xiongan New Area is located, has been relatively slow in terms of economic development, careful economic strategies to stimulate growth will

Asia Pacific ,

Jamelyn Austin Trucks
27 Apr 2017

Understandably, changing a city’s entire mindset about water management is a tall order. For years, water in the Crescent City was viewed as a threat instead of an asset. To make matters worse, efforts to control the city’s water were loosely organized and piecemeal, with projects often appearing in duplicate plans created by multiple organizations. As various stakeholders began work on implementing aspects of the Urban Water Plan, it became clear that collaboration across all levels of the community was necessary to connect expertise and leverage limited resources. To fill this need, a diverse coalition of individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, and design-engineering firms gathered together to create the Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans. This unique, multi-sector regional partnership seeks to facilitate the flow of information on emerging issues in water management, identify green infrastructure design and investment opportunities, and foster effective partnerships among participants at the ground level. The Water Collaborative gives residents, businesses, non-profits, and engineering firms a chance to learn from each other about water management best practices and to give input on what tangible results they want to see in their own communities. Various activities to date include community training workshops, policy forums, a continuing education series for designers and builders, walk and learn tours, and advocacy for better stormwater laws. Helping members of the community learn about and become more comfortable with water management concepts broadens support for green infrastructure projects and related policies going forward. One of the best examples of the Water Collaborative’s early success was

North America ,

Chris Birdsong
19 Apr 2017

OBOR has the potential to be the world’s largest platform for regional collaboration. The infrastructure projects will stimulate economic growth and build legacy for countries along the way. How much would such a transformational programme cost?   It is estimated that the total cost lies somewhere between $4 and $8 trillion US dollars, meaning that realising the full potential of the OBOR initiative is beyond even the investment ability of the Chinese government and institutions, and is therefore going to need significant private sector involvement.  This, however, means that each element of the initiative needs to have a positive investment case in order to attract financing. Whilst we are already seeing a shift amongst Chinese agencies and institutions towards broader funding avenues such as pension funds, overseas sovereign wealth funds and private equity funds, further private sector involvement is required due to the ambitious scale of the projects. This brings a range of wider considerations in attracting private sector investment. Whilst it is well known that investment is available in the market, matching this to viable projects is the critical gap that OBOR, like many other major projects, needs to address. Based on my experiences with Atkins and Atkins Acuity, the advisory business of the Atkins Group, there are seven areas that a private sector investor would consider when an opportunity is presented. Bankable and technically feasible projects. Detailed feasibility studies and robust business cases are important to attract investors who will often require high quality information on which

Asia Pacific ,

George Nash
03 Apr 2017

Where we were once world leaders, the lack of investment in maintaining existing infrastructure coupled with modest development (and in some cases underdevelopment) in new and improved infrastructure has hampered our ability to move goods and services and detracted from our overall productivity. The U.S. interstate highway system is now 60 years old. Our rail system not only needs updating but expansion. Our water infrastructure needs significant refurbishment. And while the incoming administration is pledging to fund programs, we need to find ways to make the money that will be invested go further. We know from recent studies the current state of U.S. infrastructure, but we also know that states are beginning to take action at their level, as well as the new administration. Now is the time for not just fixing infrastructure but employing technology and the latest advances to improve our roadway, rail, and water systems. Funding sources We see significant momentum building. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which re-authorizes surface transportation programs through Fiscal Year 2020, was a great first step and we expect to see infrastructure spending pick up throughout 2017. Several important infrastructure ballot initiatives were passed in the November election, and a number of state governors are taking action to make infrastructure funding a high priority. A much-needed funding source is non-public investment in infrastructure. We know that there are billions of dollars available for investment if a greater flow of bankable infrastructure projects can be identified and managed. We must invest in more economic ways to maintain our

North America ,

Projects

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To prepare for the 2014 Youth Olympics, the Nanjing City called for an International Design Competition to revitalize a scenic waterfront and green belt zone along the Yangtze River. Atkins was awarded the first prize. The challenge of the project was finding a resilient solution to integrate the individual lots, open space and landscape features which stretched along the river for 30 km and covered 11 hectares of land into one comprehensive piece. Atkins’ proposal provokes innovative waterfront planning strategies to reclaim the lost space and provide diverse recreational opportunities. In line with the requirements of the 2014 Youth Olympics and new developments along the south shore of Nanjing, an iconic area in Nanjing’s riverfront comprising and consolidating recreation, tourism, ecology, transit and culture regimens will be completed in the near future.

China ,

The IMX project site lies within the world-class Hongqiao Transportation Hub, which connects the airport, high speed rail and Shanghai public transit system. The winning Atkins concept architecturally expresses international trade and creates places and spaces where people exchange goods and ideas, thus creating optimal opportunities for the IMX brand to create wealth. The contract will also see Atkins develop its iconic architectural designs for the IMX exhibition centre and supporting commercial development covering approximately 150,000 square metres. All buildings within the Atkins masterplan have been designed to meet or exceed China’s three-star Green Building Standard.

China ,

The Wessal Bouregreg project is a visionary scheme to transform the cultural and social landscape of Morocco’s capital, Rabat. We designed the masterplan for this inner city site, as well as two of its most iconic buildings - the Library of National Archives of the Kingdom of Morocco, and the House of Arts and Culture - for Wessal Capital, an investment fund for tourism and real estate projects in the Kingdom of Morocco. The masterplan will create a new national cultural hub for Morocco, and will enhance Rabat’s position on the world stage as a destination to enjoy internationally important historic archives as well as new arts and cultural offerings. The inspiration for the scheme began with an investigation into the rich cultural history of Morocco and its unique historic development of mathematical
With storm and flood damage creating chaos and headline news across the UK, it is crucial that we not only repair the damage, but protect ourselves against future occurrences. Atkins has been appointed to design a replacement for the 30 year old sea wall in Morecambe. The wall will be constructed in three stages, with the first part currently under way.  The project compromises a new one metre high wall, over 1.8 kilometres in length and once complete it will protect 13,000 properties in this Lancashire coastal resort. The wall will feature motifs reflecting local personalities, stories and references to flora and fauna. It has been designed to be robust as well as being beautiful in design and has been sloped back on the seaward side to give the impression of a wider promenade space. New surfacing, lighting and furniture will also enhance the promenade for residents, visitors and all users of this high profile seafront commission. 

UK ,

The Le Tour Way development in York provides large and spacious sustainable homes split 50/50 for council houses and homes for sale on the private market. We  designed the properties in response to feedback from residents on previous schemes, and all of the homes are built to ‘Lifetime Homes’ standards, which allows residents to stay in their homes longer and make adaptations at lower cost. Low water fittings and appliances, as well as rainwater collection for irrigation and flushing of WCs, help to minimise water use. Each home and apartment has individual facilities for recycling. As a result of the integrated design approach, the properties are inexpensive to run whilst minimising the impact on the environment. The design of the development strived to achieve ‘Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4’, meaning energy use was minimised through passive design before incorporating low and zero carbon technologies.   We provided multidiscipline services for the development, including architecture, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering, landscaping, masterplanning, project management and code for sustainable homes assessment.

UK ,

The primary tools for controlling and treating stormwater are referred to as stormwater best management practices (BMPs). BMPs include features such as detention ponds, rain gardens, and swales, which slow and treat stormwater as it moves through the system, helping to reduce flood risk during storms and also improve water quality. To help the city decide where BMPs should be placed for the best results, Atkins worked with Bonita Springs to develop the BMP Assessment Tool (BAT). The tool allows the city to simulate various scenarios for placing BMPs throughout the stormwater drainage system. Using a rainfall/runoff algorithm, the tool estimates pollutant loads across the network for each scenario, supporting informed decision-making on which BMPs to implement and where to place them. A challenge in evaluating pollutant levels is estimating the amount of directly connected impervious areas (DCIA) in a community. These areas include buildings, driveways, parking lots, and roads that contribute to high concentrations of pollution. Traditionally, the way to accurately estimate DCIA is to use aerial imagery—an expensive and labor-intensive process many communities cannot afford. The BAT uses a new process of “virtualizing” DCIA by interpreting available road and parcel databases to simulate its likely location, producing a more accurate (and less costly) estimate of DCIA than traditional land use-based methods. By creating what-if scenarios, based on existing conditions and proposed BMP plans, the city was able to reach consensus on their citywide BMP plan. The plan includes a new multi-million dollar park project, which will improve recreation

USA , North America ,

The Rocky Mountain Greenway connects three Denver metro area National Wildlife Refuges with a continuous trail system between the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Two Ponds, and Rocky Flats in the northwest Denver metro area. The project is part of a larger vision, the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which seeks to reconnect Americans with the country’s natural resources. The Rocky Mountain Greenway was first announced in 2011 by Colorado Governor Hickenlooper and then‐Interior Secretary Salazar to close gaps in existing trail networks and develop new trails. To support this project, Atkins coordinated across numerous jurisdictions and agencies. We completed feasibility studies to identify the best options to connect the wildlife refuges and extend Denver’s existing greenway trail network and prepared preliminary cost estimates to aid in prioritizing projects and developing improvement packages. Atkins also provided final design and completed National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements for the seven-mile portion of trail spanning Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge in Arvada and the Great Western Open Space in Broomfield.  The trail system is expected to extend to Rocky Mountain National Park in the future, creating an 80-mile long continuous route. The completed trail network would link thousands of acres of public lands together, connecting metropolitan residents to the vast natural areas surrounding them—passing through more than 10 municipalities, six counties, and four federal land areas. A grand opening ceremony for the completion of the continuous 25‐mile stretch between the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and the southeastern portion of Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge took

USA , North America ,

This two-berth cruise terminal on the north coast of the Dominican Republic is capable of accommodating up to two post-Panamax cruise vessels, which translates to roughly 10,000 visitors a day. Carnival Corporation estimates eight of its brands will make 140 calls on the port, with 23 ships throughout its first year of operation. In addition to planning, landscape design, architecture, and engineering services for Amber Cove’s structures and amenities, we also designed roadways and the transportation hub that helps visitors take onshore excursions and explore outlying points of interest. The development also includes hillside waterslides overlooking the 5-acre pool/lazy river recreation area, a zipline, a series of shops and restaurants, a destination duty-free shop, and a hilltop food and beverage establishment with a 360-degree ramp access from below. Echoing the culture and existing architecture in the area, we incorporated modern interpretations of historical periods of significance for the Puerto Plata province. Visitors perusing the 25-acre waterfront development will enjoy an architectural nod to the fortified 16th century, classical-colonial 18th century, and Victorian late 19th century in 25 buildings and multiple landscapes. Atkins also incorporated features that promote self-sufficiency and sustainability including rooftop rainwater harvesting, seawater desalination, a wastewater treatment plant to minimize environmental impacts, and backup generators to ensure uninterrupted utility service.

Dominican Republic , North America ,

Products

READY TO DIG

Ready to dig  

Atkins is the UK’s leading provider of utility reports. We also provide a wide range of utility management services across the lifecycle of a project.
www.utilitymanagementsolutions.co.uk/readytodig/

Resources

In this section you can find technical papers and thought leadership articles produced by Atkins for the urban development sector.

Title Format Size
Carbon Critical Masterplanning pdf 256KB

In this section you can find thought leadership articles produced by Atkins for the urban development sector.

Title Format Size
Future Proofing Cities brochure pdf 7.4MB
Living Space: Tomorrow's City pdf 2.7MB

Locations

For more information on our work and experience in this sector please contact:

UK and International

Richard Alvey
International cities director
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7121 2264
Email 

 

North America

United States of America
Tel: +1 800 477 7275
Email

Careers

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