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Designing neighbourhoods: the economic, social and environmental value of good design

Environment Themed

What’s on offer?

This interactive event allows for an opportunity to delve into the findings of a recent project on delivering ‘design value’ conducted by the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE). Participants will be invited to work in small teams to use Lego and other materials to design the neighbourhood they would like to live in. This will be followed by some discussion around the outcomes and the potential implications of participants’ design decisions. Dr James White and/or Dr Gareth James will give a short presentation outlining the main findings from CaCHE research, with particular emphasis on the links between good design and better environmental outcomes. This will be followed by a short film on the same theme and further discussion, including how participants might take the lessons learned and use them to demand better design outcomes in the real world.

What’s it about?

Creating well-designed homes and neighbourhoods is a shared ambition of the four UK governments, but is rarely achieved in practice. Our work aims to understand why design quality is so often undervalued and how design-sensitive planning and development might be encouraged in the future. Sponsored by the RTPI and the four UK governments, the research examines the process of planning, designing and developing new homes and neighbourhoods using data collected from across the UK. It finds that the design quality of new homes and neighbourhoods is stubbornly low and that the responsibility for delivering design value is shared by the public and private sector. Our principal recommendation is that the four UK governments should adopt ‘design value standards’ that place neighbourhood urban form principles in regulation and embed the economic, social and environmental value of design at the heart of planning and housebuilding.

Who’s leading the event?

Dr James White & Dr Gareth James, members of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE). CaCHE is based at the University of Glasgow.

Open to

Open to all.

Of particular interest to

The event will be of interest to anyone who values design and wishes to learn more about the economic, social and environmental value of good design. It will be of particular interest to community groups, such as community councils, who have a role to play in the planning of new housing developments and may serve to empower them to demand better design outcomes in their own local areas. It is also likely to appeal to young people for who are interested in solutions to the climate emergency.

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