Localities and regions
Places and spaces
A pedestrian heart for Camberwell
How to transform a complex intersection to create high quality public space and improve traffic flow!
Transport analysis (Martyn group)
Assessment of proposals
A building may be an architectural masterpiece, but how well does it fit into its urban context? Analysing the urban design aspects of a development proposal - whether warehouse, suburban apartment building or a 70 storey mixed-use tower - will give you the answer.
(To maintain client confidentiality, we do not publish most of our work in this area.)
This study bench-marked the quality and use of public spaces in central Melbourne, using a methodology developed by professor Jan Gehl. Nathan Alexander lead the study team and wrote the report.
Bourke Street Mall was the first dedicated pedestrian street in central Melbourne. Nathan Alexander designed the 1994 iteration. This article explains the design thinking for this space.
From Colonel Light's survey in 1837 Adelaide has evolved into one of the largest urban areas in the world. Using words and maps, this paper traces the development of its infrastructure and urban form. Based on Appendix 1 of 'A distinct advantage'.
'A distinct advantage'
Strategies to enhance the structure and character of metropolitan Adelaide. Winner of the 2004 Australia Award for Urban Design, award for best strategy. The world's first urban design strategy for an entire metropolis.
Chapter 1 - Introduction (5.7 MB)
Flinders Street Station is the hub of Melbourne's metropolitan passenger train system and an internationally recognised symbol of the city. This short history explains why its where it is and how it developed. Included a chronology.
Ideas and issues
How about extending heritage protection to key public spaces? What qualities does the community value and want enhanced? In this article Nathan Alexander proposes a means to do so.
Are metro rail lines the answer to transport in Australian cities? Understand how they fit and what they're good for.
A chatty piece on why local government can and should determine a desired character for all neighbourhoods.
A paper by Nathan Alexander and Paul Stark presenting some key concepts and explaining how to prepare a neighbourhood character strategy.
In this short paper Nathan Alexander proposes six qualities to use to assess any urban environment, at any scale from a building to an entire urban region. It adapts qualities proposed in Responsive Environments.
A list of ingredients to make a more liveable locality, or to assess one.
The keys to creating energy efficient urban form may not be what you think. This summary of Nathan Alexander's master's thesis explains what they are.
What makes for a great residential street? In this article Nathan Alexander chooses an unknown street in Glenelg as the best in Adelaide.
The visitor experience at Hanging Rock is unlike anywhere else; understanding why this is so is no picnic. In 'The qualities of Hanging Rock, an extract from Nathan's1985 study, Nathan details the sixteen qualities that make the Rock spatially and experientially unique. In 'Hanging Rock in ten maps', Alexander Urbanism has mapped the changes to the Rock and its surrounds from its birth six million years ago to 2018.
The qualities of Hanging Rock (480 KB)
Hanging Rock in ten maps (2.7 MB)