News & Updates
Place Alliance in the Press
The government should set up a dedicated Design Quality Unit for England to build on the work of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission (BBBBC).
This is the conclusion of a consortium of organisations comprising the Academy of Urbanism, Civic Voice, CPRE, Design Council, Place Alliance, Trees & Design Action Group, UCL and Urban Design Group.
“Now is the time to establish a design quality unit for England”, argues David Rudlin, former Chair of The Academy of Urbanism and Director at URBED)
We will be accused of reinventing Cabe and some might think that’s no bad thing. However the organisation we are talking about is much smaller and more sharply focused on the issues we need to address to achieve design quality. It also wouldn’t include design review which is being done effectively at the local level but would instead be based on a hub and spokes model linking diverse organisations already working in this space across the country.
England needs a body dedicated to fighting for design quality in the built environment if it is to reverse decades of systemic failure, ministers were urged today.
A design quality unit must be established if the government is to succeed in its stated ambition to deliver good urban development across England, it was warned by a coalition of design organisations. The groups said a design quality unit was vital if the momentum created by the government-appointed Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission (BBBBC) was not to be lost.
Back in February, in a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, a coalition of organisations – The Academy of Urbanism, Civic Voice, CPRE, Design Council, Place Alliance, Trees & Design Action Group and Urban Design Group – called for the setting up of a new Design Quality Unit for England. The call follows the report of the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission and the publication of A Housing Design Audit for England.
The period since our letter has seen the country locked-down as part of the global effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus. Whilst these are exceptional times, a new pamphlet from the same consortium argues that we need to be thinking about the future, and with that in mind it is Time to get serious about design.
Following from the publication A Housing Design Audit for England and the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission report Living with Beauty, Place Alliance coordinated a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, to argue the case for A Design Quality Unit for England. The text of the letter can be found here.
Get behind the call by forwarding the letter to your own MP, or re-tweeting the blog.
Philip Box, policy and project coordinator at UKGBC, commenting at the launch of the report, said:
“This report notes some good examples of industry leaders going beyond the minimum, on energy efficiency, low carbon energy and biodiversity. However, it shows overwhelmingly that business as usual is not currently good enough to address the challenges we face. Our current minimum standards are inadequate, and we need to be more ambitious if we are to meet our legal decarbonisation targets.”