Masterplanning + Placemaking

“Successful masterplanning is rooted in placemaking, community and an understanding of the daily journeys, interactions and opportunities for connection. When you’re building a community, everything matters, especially the natural.” Jo Cowen

Whether it’s a new development or a regeneration project, we set out to unlock the potential of a site to create a place where people belong, where a sense of identity and rootedness is bound up in a sense of place. 

Our approach is founded on healthy placemaking; a commitment to creating communities that are planned around social and environmental factors that promote good health – from pedestrian access to ease of travel to access to nature.

At Jo Cowen Architects, we thrive on collaboration, and masterplanning is the ultimate collaborative project; a fascinating mix of research, inspiration, consultation, and design, with a central focus on building and improving communities.

Our principles for healthy, placemaking – community empowerment, creating balance, delivering connections between the streets and communities.


Placemaking is a multi-dimensional approach to the planning, design and consideration of regeneration, new extensions and creation of new settlement.  Placemaking looks for opportunity to enhance a community and create inspiration and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being.


Achieving a modal shift to more active and sustainable travel modes is essential to all new masterplans. It promotes a connection with our environment, green infrastructure and home. It is essential, the future and promotes healthier, cleaner and greener places to live and work.


Our streets are designed as spaces for people first, for children to play, adults to gather: green livable streets where pedestrians have priority. Our liveable streets provide the ultimate connection between the resident’s homes, an extension of the private garden spaces and house frontage.


A perfect balance of living, working and visiting, within walkable neighbourhoods.


Green Infrastruture is the network of natural and semi-natural features, green spaces, rivers and lakes within and between our villages, towns and cities. These green assets have the potential to deliver wellness, sustainability, balance and cohesion. JOCO utilise liveable street to integrate GI through our towns, through living streets. Led by the Landscape.


Highly sustainable on all levels, new development should be designed with sustainability inherent at at the forefront.  It permeates our designs from house to street to square and even within our green management structure. It is not a bolt on, it is intrinsic. 


Connecting village centres with a series of hubs creating leisure and community destinations with a rich mix of uses, designed with and managed by the community.

THE 20

The 20-minute town is all about living locally.

Providing residents with the ability to meet most of their everyday needs within a 20-minute walk or cycle trip of their home.

‘Sustainable architecture is architecture that seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space and the ecosystem at large’ Toby Denham


A location within the streetscape  for public and shared mobility modes.

Providing a more convenient, comfortable and safer environment to access a range of sustainable modes.


Growing the landscape into the neighbourhoods grounds the new settlement to create a unique sense of place.

Living streets can be  created to provide healthy, safe and beautiful environments for communities to use and enjoy.

Streets that encourage people to linger and spend time can also provide social and economic benefits, for example for local retail.

Social Sustainability, Emotional & Physical Wellbeing.  A means to connect and create shared experiences through a mutual investment in living space plays a focal role to our vision. Definitions of social sustainability are born out of an understanding of what people need from where they live. This intrinsic focus on need centres firmly on the interaction between people and nature. In harnessing the natural properties of the land and combining them with an infrastructure that supports cohesive social and cultural networks, amenities, citizen-led governance and space for people to evolve, it builds a connection to a place and a sense of belonging.

The public realm encompasses living streets, pocket parks, edible landscapes, a seed to table programme, living gardens, orchards, living walls, external spaces for play. All with visual and green connections to wider community.

To discuss a project or find out more about how we can work together, please get in touch.
  • Tell us your name *

  • Enter your email *

  • Enter phone number *

  • Message *