Master Planning

Master planning defines the connections between buildings, social settings and their surrounding elements. It involves the analysis, recommendations, and proposals for a site's population, housing, transportation, and land use. Public input, surveys, existing developments, social and economic conditions, and much more are factored in to the master plan. At artefact studio, master planning involves the care and consideration of all these factors and much more.

Our world is growing at an ever-increasing pace. Urban renewal and expansion, land development and reclamation can have a significant impact on the built environment. For the team at artefact studio, master planning plays a vital role in ensuring that new projects not only serve the current needs but also look ahead and anticipating the needs of the future.


What is Master Planning

In its simplest form, master planning is a study used to define the long-term development of a particular space or built environment. The end result may extend into many forms, such as a report, website, or publicity campaign. Included in the master plan is a concept and guidelines for future development of the area, which take into consideration factors such as the economy, housing, effects on the environment, population, transportation, existing development, and other socio-economic factors.

When is a Master Plan Needed?

Master Planning is required when it comes to big ideas that impact the landscape of a city or a specific space. It is a critical element to the design process because it provides a comprehensive look at the built environment and how best to prepare for growth and development.

A highly-experienced and skilled team of architects, designers, planners, and experts from various disciplines bring their unique skills to the development of the master plan. This collaborative process ensures that the final design adheres to the wishes and needs of the client, and ultimately the success of the project.


Why Start with a Master Plan?

The decision to develop a master plan can be prompted by the desire to serve the client’s needs, understand the current situation, gain community interest and support, set a vision for the future, and/or to define a clear implementation strategy.

There are several key desires that drive the need for a master plan, including:

·      Economic regeneration—attract investment or benefit from ownership.

·      Social regeneration—improve social conditions (e.g. lower crime rates, increase jobs) a site or neighborhood.

·      Environmental improvement—improve, protect or regenerate a site or area.

·      Re-brand—change the identity and appearance of the place and to influence its perception in the public sphere.

Master planning is typically conducted in the early stages of a major development project, such as campuses, retail centers, parks and public spaces, airports, and urban restoration or re-development projects. However, master plans can be useful for a full range of projects.  


What Considerations Go into Master Planning?

Creating a Master Plan involves considering numerous factors, such as finances, landscape, environmental consequences, and other matters discussed between the financiers, planners, the local government, and the community. Key elements of the master planning process may include the following:

Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is an objective review of the options available for development. It includes the analysis and recommendations of visioning and scoping exercises from a given site.


Strategic Framework

The strategic framework sets the scene and establishes the baseline information relating to the physical, social, and economic context of the site and surrounding environment.


Physical and Spatial Elements

  • Neighborhood character and heritage – The master plan should show the how the project will integrate with the surrounding area. Considerations for topography, waterways, existing landscape and heritage features should be incorporated into the design.

  • Various Uses – The master plan should show the location of various uses (e.g. housing and/or commercial uses) and their densities, yields, and lot sizes.

  • Open and public space – The master plan should show the location of both passive and active open spaces including their functions, sizes, and scales.

  • Biodiversity – The master plan should identify and explain how significant biodiversity values will be incorporated into the site.

  • Water management and utilities – The master plan must outline decisions and recommendations for the preservation of wetlands, catchment areas, waterfront areas. Guidelines for public use of waterways must also be included.

  • Transport – The master plan should show the hierarchy of streets, pedestrian and cycle paths, and public transport and freight routes.


Are you Ready to Start Your Master Planning Project?

ARTEFACT studio's goal is to offer a comprehensive master planning approach that allows our clients to make their ideal future a reality. Our process brings key stakeholders together to provide ideas and input to streamline the framework with which to proceed with the project. To learn more about our master planning process we invite you to schedule a call or meeting with us.