The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published a report which it hopes will influence government policy writers in time for the general election next year. The report outlines the RIBA's stance on a wide variety of architectural issues, from planning policy, to school building, to designing healthy cities.
The report hopes to build on the recommendations made by the Farrell Review, which among many other things recommended the appointment of a chief architect to advise the government, as well as an overhaul of the current planning system. However, in one sense the RIBA report goes further than the Farrell Report by saying that the government should implement a defined architecture policy, pointing to the success of such policies in countries such as Denmark.
Read on after the break for more on the report's recommendations
In addition to the new architectural policy, the government should create a national spatial strategy outlining locations for major infrastructure and housing projects, says the report. It also controversially recommends a re-examination of the restrictions preventing construction on London's Green Belt, arguing that the Green Belt no longer serves its original purpose and that we should be able to unlock this "wasted land" in favour of housing and economic growth.
The report criticizes the current government's school building programme, arguing that the scheme involving ultra-low cost, standardized school designs is too cheap. In addition the country's existing school stock is inadequate and there is currently a major shortage of school places. The report argues that the government should increase spending on school construction by 20%.
The report also proposes a reassessment of the government's transport budget, by spending 10% of this money on 'active transport' within cities - meaning linear parks and attractive routes for walking and cycling.
President of the RIBA Stephen Hodder said: "The next government needs to look at architecture and the built environment as part of the solution. Reform of the green belt, building more new homes, tackling the failed current school building programme and empowering English cities to compete on the global stage need to be priorities."
Story via BD Online