Big Meet 10

21 January 2020, London

Big Meet 10 focused on the critical question of housing design quality – what sort of housing environments are we creating today, and how can we strive to do better in the future? The conference was structured around the launch, discussion and reflection on “A Housing Design Audit for England”.  

This is the first national housing design audit and the first large scale audit for over 12 years. It covers 142 schemes across all regions of England. 

The conference challenged attendees to identify what tangible actions we can take together to improve the design of the new residential environments that the nation so clearly needs.

About Big Meet 10: 

Housing design quality and launch of “A Housing Design Audit for England” 

The agenda for the day explored the results of the National Housing Audit, examined the key findings and explored what tangible actions can we take to improve practice.

Part 1: What are we delivering?

In the first part of the conference Matthew Carmona explores the results of A Housing Design Audit for England.  He explains how the audit was conducted and provides the headline results, nationally and regionally as well as a more detailed discussion of the seventeen audited design considerations.

Rapid reflections on practice

Helen Grimshaw and Colin Haylock shared their experience of auditing the schemes, and Nicholas Boys-Smith (BBBB Commission), Sarah James (Civic Voice), Andrew Whitaker (Home Builders Federation), Philip Box (UK Green Building Council), Phil Jones (Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation) and Andy von Bradsky (Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government) have shared their thoughts on changes needed in practice. 

Part 2: What can we do better?

In the second part of this talk Matthew Carmona asks why the results reported in A Housing Design Audit for England are as they are.  To do this he explores correlations between the headline results and a range of market, contextual and design governance factors and against resident and community views. 

Featured Talks & Speakers

Place Alliance is thankful to all Big Meet speakers for being so generous with their time.

We really appreciate the involvement and we are grateful for the time and effort speakers took to share their thoughts and experiences with all our Supporters.

We hope that they enjoyed contributing and have gained further insight from the experience.

Helen Grimshaw

Geographer @URBED

Helen joined URBED in November 2013 after spending four years with charity the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) in Bristol. In her role at URBED Helen works across a wide range of projects, supporting urban design work, consultancy projects and low-energy building retrofit. With a background in human geography, Helen is interested in the intersection between people and technical systems, how technical information is communicated to and understood by ‘non-technical’ users, and the impact this has on the operational performance of buildings and systems. 

Helen shared her experience of auditing some of the North West schemes, emphasising the issues of connectivity, landscape and how welcoming the schemes felt. 

Colin Haylock

Member of Expert Advisory Group @HistoricEngland, Visiting Professor @The Bartlett School of Planning

Colin is a Newcastle based architect-planner with over 40 years’ experience. He is now running a specialist consultancy and a partner in a small architectural practice which works primarily in heritage and other sensitive environments.

He was RTPI President in 2012 and since 2000 has been heavily involved in national work on planning and design through CABE and Design Council CABE.

Colin shared his experience as an auditor and his observations of the schemes he visited, reflecting on the changes in practice since last audits undertaken by CABE.

Nicholas Boys-Smith

Chair @Building Better Building Beautiful Commission

Nicholas is the founding Director of Create Streets, a social enterprise encouraging urban homes in terraced streets, not multi-storey buildings. Nicholas is a member of the Historic England Commission, an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham where he leads their course in Applied Research in Urban Design. 

Colin presented the Interim report of the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission, focusing on Beauty and how practitioners and developers can incorporate it into their practice. 

Sponsors & Partners of the event