We are an international consultancy specialising in master planning, urban design and tourism development. We operate across the globe from our offices in Dubai, London and Shanghai covering the overall planning process from countrywide strategies to detailed design.
But no matter what scale of project, our philosophy remains the same. We begin by establishing a shared vision – a bold ambition for the project right from the very start through our stakeholder engagement process. This vision then drives the plan.
We often challenge convention and go beyond the ordinary. We promote great places with sound environmental design principles and a sense of belonging, identity, distinctiveness and inspiration.
However, we know that design and economic analysis conducted without reference to each other cannot succeed. This is why we have an integrated discipline approach to our work allowing us to provide the range of services required to formulate a vision, evaluate its economic viability, develop an innovative concept, outline implementation strategies and communicate the vision to investors and the public.
We are only as good as our people. Our team have a successful track record in master planning, urban design and tourism development, and above all, have the ability as business people.
We have permanent and contract personnel which include planners, urban designers, architects, landscape architects, economists, market and product development specialists, cultural heritage experts and environmentalists.
In addition, we have a network of international associate companies who work with us on a regular basis whose expertise include infrastructure and transport planning/design.
The process of planning is a continuous one and broad principles need to be established before detail can be settled. The plans must therefore be flexible enough to accommodate possible changes. They are a beginning, not an end and provide a sound framework on which to build. In particular, we have extensive worldwide experience in formulating strategic tourism development plans.
We provide solutions that transform vision to reality, whether urban, rural, recreational or industrial, or a mixed use 21st century sustainable city. We focus on defining an aspirational vision, analysing strengths and opportunities, creating a quality environment, developing an innovative concept, assuring economic value and effective delivery of your project.
Integrating multiple uses involves much more than proximity. It’s about synergy, blending elements, adding value and raising standards to achieve sustainable development. The town centre or downtown is particularly key. The essential qualities are a diverse and concentrated mix of uses that create a strong lively market, and the quality of the environment that establishes a sense of place.
Resorts by their very nature often contain some of the most sensitive and highly prized natural resources, such as mountain or coastal environments. We therefore adopt sound design principles no matter the scale of development. Visitors are also demanding more from their leisure time. But we recognise that fun and entertainment is not just about a bigger venue or theme park, it’s about an experience.
Implementation of an urban renewal project will not simply happen. It has to be stimulated, directed and the activities of the various government organisations, developers / investors and local community coordinated. An implementation structure must be designed to inspire better and more imaginative development and address local concerns, fears and the organisational and management challenges.
Charrettes can be a 1 day to 1 week event, designed to create a vision, concept and strategy in a short period of time. The process does not include the study necessary to implement a development. Rather, it is a test of assumptions that will give you the confidence in the decision to begin the master planning process and develop working relationships that are necessary to make the project a success.
We have worked in over 80 countries including the UK, Europe, North, South and Central America, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Caribbean. This has given us the opportunity to develop and evaluate a variety of strategies and designs.
While each project is unique, there is much to be learned from the experience in comparable places in different parts of the world. We therefore bring an innovative, imaginative and international perspective to any project.
Our reputation is based on a track record of some 30 years. Our private sector clients include large and small companies, both privately and publicly owned corporations. Our public sector clients include multi-lateral agencies – World Bank, European Commission, Inter-American Development Bank, Carribbean Development Bank, Japanese Bank of International Corporation, United Nations World Tourism Organisation, government ministries, local authorities and municipalities, national tourist boards and other state owned enterprises.
John is a leading practitioner in master planning, urban design and tourism development with experience and work in over 80 countries. Based in Dubai, he has recently returned to the international practice of John Robinson Planning & Design after spending six years with Halcrow/CH2M Hill as global master planning director.
Work over the last 35 years has included advising governments, agencies and companies on their future direction, often using tourism to generate economic development and producing planning, design and implementation solutions that are both creative and practical with the overall aim of achieving long-term sustainable development.
John often takes the lead and directs multi-disciplinary teams delivering projects covering the overall planning process from countrywide strategies to detailed designs.