The book describes a pro-active approach that evolved in Britain though direct experience at Chelmsford in Essex between 1996 and 2003.  This expressed and prescribed the desired physical form through both spatial policy and detailed guidance and pursued it through active negotiation.  The approach delivered a high quality urban environment in a uniform manner, not merely through isolated examples.  Not just the policies but the life and appearance of the town were turned around.  The high standards of design achieved were recognised by the award to the Council by the British government of the quality mark of Beacon Status for the Quality of the Built Environment in 2003.
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