Big Meet

About Big Meet

The BIG MEET is the Place Alliance annual conference, an opportunity for a diverse range of organisations across the build environment sectors to come together to discuss, debate and provide a powerful collective voice on the current issues about the quality of the built environment and its delivery.

It is with regret that we have had to postpone Big Meet 10 to the 21st of January 2020 From 1.30-5.00pm.
This has become necessary because our funding partner, the CPRE, has advised that as a charity they run the risk of breaching Lobbying Act restrictions if we continue with the event during purdah. 

Your previous booking has been cancelled, but we very much hope you will rebook via the new registration link below.

BIG MEET 10: Housing Design Quality & Launch of “A Housing Design Audit for England

Big Meet 10 will focus 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 will be 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 intends to be both honest and constructive.

Ultimately it will challenge 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.  

Our Sponsors & Partners


13:00 — Registration

13:30 —  Welcome from Richard Simmons (UCL / CPRE)

13:35 — Delivering better housing design, setting the context, Paul Miner (CPRE)

13:45 — Auditing England (how we did it), Matthew Carmona (Place Alliance)

Part 1: What are we delivering? 

13:50  Audit Results 1: What are we getting right and what wrong?, Matthew Carmona (Place Alliance)

14.10 — Auditors’ stories – what did they see?, Helen Grimshaw (URBED) and Colin Haylock (UCL)

14:30 — Rapid reflections on practice Nicholas Boys-Smith (Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission), Sarah James (Civic Voice), Andrew Whitaker (Home Builders Federation), Philip Box (UK Green Building Council) and Phil Jones (Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation)

15:00 — Coffee break

Part 2: How can we do better?

15.30 – Audit results 2: Why is there such variation in practice? Matthew Carmona (Place Alliance)

15.50 – How can we do better? – open discussion

16.20 – What tangible actions can we take to improve practice?

16.45 – Thanks and close

Responses from

Building Better Building Beautiful Commission, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Civic Voice, Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, Home Builders Federation, and UK Green Building Council 

Get involved

The Place Alliance is a movement for place quality. It is founded on the idea that through collaboration and better communication we can establish a culture whereby the quality of place becomes an everyday national and local priority. Place Alliance is open to all and brings together organisations and individuals who share the belief that the quality of our built environment has a profound influence on people’s lives.

The success of Place Alliance depends on the support of its supporters and volunteers. We welcome all organisations and local groups as well as individuals, town and parish councils, local authorities and businesses as members and supporters of Place Alliance.

Join Us

Become a Core Supporter, join an existing Working Group or suggest another group or initiative by emailing your ideas to us. Just complete the Supporters Form or subscribe to our Newsletter


Place Alliance is an independent not-for-profit initiative of UCL. We operate on a tight budget and rely on the generosity of our supporters. For those who wish to make a donation to help grow the Place Alliance network visit our UCL online giving page to make a gift. If you would like more information on how we will spend your donation contact Your support is truly appreciated.


Prof Matthew Carmona – Chair

Valentina Giordano – Chief Executive

To discuss how we might work together please email