Classic Planning and Architecture Studio

Classic Planning and Urban Design – – – – Traditional and Classical Architecture

Urban Diagnostics

Urban Biometrics
Three Step Process


Obviously, cities are for people to experience. Serving mayors, city administrators, NGO’s, developers, public organizations and the concerned public, our urban design services span all scales of the urban experience, From public life to change making, from urban strategy to urban design, from the strategic metropolitan visioning to park and building design and implementation, we are here to hold your hand and that of your community..

Our three-step classic plan process includes.

Urban Frameworks

Building Consensus

!00-Year Plan

Classic Planning turns to both municipal stewardship and the citizens in a unique top-down, bottom-up “Framework-and-Consensus” approach to combat ugliness, dysfunction, and environmental degradation.

Step 1—Armatures: The Fabric’s Holistic Frameworks Click for more information

From simple houses to specialty institutional structures, urban fabric rests on its holistic frameworks or “armatures.” Not “zones-by-use,” “hierarchies of streets,” “building height and setback areas,” or various “green,” “open space,” or “density areas,” the holistic Classic Planning frameworks of a place are the array of special places in a territory that the lay of the land dictates. In some case, armatures unite systems of institutions in a community, such as the cycle of churches in Rome, or the knowledge-economy frameworks in Aarhus, Denmark.

Driven by genius loci, reason for being, and community aspiration, frameworks include the paths in the territory that we use to move around, as well as the curated, small, medium, and large urban gardens and parks where we find respite. Among the most important armatures are the delineation of Town and Country and the one representing climate change. Each armature is enhanced and elaborated with plazas and other urban forms that accentuate them appropriately.

Part of a Framework plan is developing select locations with citizen groups of up to twenty people in order to illustrate some of the final products of a 100-year plan and to demonstrate the consensus process. Keying in to long-term characteristics, at $1-$10 per citizen, the cost of delineating armatures provides perhaps the best value-to-money investment in urban planning. Click here for more information

Step 2—Building Consensus Click for more information

From the cathedral builders we learn that, when community aspiration and architectural literacy are present, 100- to 150-year projects are possible. In a community, the people assume the mantle of leadership and inherit the duty of noblesse oblige. Working with the full community, street-by street, and block-by-block to inhabit and articulate the Framework Plan is the second phase of a classic plan. The community works with planners and facilitators to produce

  • A somewhat detailed hundred-year plan
  • A collection of vignettes
  • Physical models, and
  • A simple code, typically two to ten pages long. Click here to find out more about the Classic Planning code  

Depending on the community, arriving at a consensual plan might take six to twenty-four months, about the life cycle of NIMBY groups. Notably, the skilled facilitator, framing the emerging consensus of the group, is a keystone of the process. They make the experience safe enough for an authentic discussion of “how things ought to be” and ensure that all voices are heard.

Of obvious importance is the stewardship of country, to ensure that environmental zones, wildlife corridors, and green, blue, and gray infrastructure follow the same rules and remain vital, continuous, and connected. Click here for more information

Step 3—Multigenerational Legacy Click for more information

In adopting a hundred-year time frame, a community plan may remain independent of day-to-day municipal planning and zoning variables. Adopting such a time frame removes short-term, ephemeral political, financial, vested interest, NIMBY fears, and uncertainty from the process. It facilitates a community taking the time to work out its long-term asset allocation goals and to define and get what it needs, while its leaders are guaranteed a legacy colored by their interests. It keys into the life cycle of NIMBY groups and transforms their long, slow wearing down of the opposition into a more fruitful community discussion.

The foremost benefit that a hundred-year plan buys for property owners and residents is reduced risk: Outside broad economic forces, citizens and developers will know in advance the destiny of their property. The properties of the various urban-core owners automatically gain value through densification, creating a basis for compensation formulas utilizing air-rights trading or other such mechanisms. Click here for more information

Backed by the Classic Planning Institute, an executive committee “plans the planning” throughout the process, in consultation with community representatives, leaders and stakeholders. It maintains offices, meeting spaces, and a gallery displaying the current models and plans. Its archives contain the physical models, original drawings, watercolors, and digital materials, in formats accessible on demand by participants. It maintains hard copies of all the current data of the town.

Not only does a hundred-year plan defend against property-value loss as a result of zoning activities, but it also enables property owners to plan ahead. Knowing that such a plan will retain, if not add, value to their property can bring residents peace of mind. But the synergies of a good plan mean that the stakeholders would get more than they knew to ask for. Click here for more information

Naturally, any multigenerational plan is subject to generational reviews. Following the community’s political and fiscal cycles, it is phased into discrete two- to six-year projects. Drawing on the wisdom of the crowd, phasing and scheduling are driven by perceived urgency and prioritized benefit.

Click here for more information on the nuts and bolts of the hundred-year plan process.