Putting community led design at the heart of placemaking

St Clements Bow

The quality of our cities, towns and villages is vital to the achievement of so many objectives which are shared across the political spectrum: economic growth and prosperity, social cohesion, public health, safety and crime reduction. Most people want to have a say, and many want to play an active part, in making sure that the design of their city, town or village is as good as it can be.

Civic Voice has a series of webinars taking place for you to learn more:

If you want to part of a growing movement wanting to shape our towns and cities, we would suggest that you sign up for Civic Voice’s #inconversation events:

  • May 20th: In Conversation with Nicholas Boys Smith - Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission: Covid 19: How will we build better and beautifully? (Watch it back here)
  • June 2nd: In Conversation with Steve Quartermain - Planning in a post covid world. Until March, Steve was the Government's chief planner (Watch it back here)
  • June 4th: In Conversation with Mary Parsons - Chair, Town and Country Planning Association on why we need a Healthy Homes Act! (Watch it back here)
  • June 15th: In Conversation with Laura Alvarez - "Putting design quality at the heart of placemaking"  (Watch it back here)
  • June 18th: In Conversation with Joel Mills - The perspective from the United States! (Watch it back here)
  • June 25th: Patrice Frey - Main Street US will be talking to us about US Main Street as we consider whether the approach will work in the UK 
  • July 8th: In Conversation with Sarah Richards - CEO of The Planning Inspectorate - How the Planning Inspectorate is responding to Covid-19

We also have a series of webinars showcasing good initiatives already taking place across the UK

  • July 1st: Webinar with Andy von Bradsky - Head of Architecture; MHCLG. How the Government is trying to create well-designed places that are beautiful, enduring and successful. Register here
  • July 7th: Webinar with Matt Bell - Can Grosvenor's new Community Charter help to rebuild public trust in the planning system? Register here

What we need is action and we can start today. 

If we build houses in the wrong place, to a poor standard, without the consent of local communities we are only storing up future misery for the people in those houses and others nearby. 

With the drive to deliver more homes across the country has come a loud call for those developments to be of a high standard of design in order to deliver high quality, liveable and sustainable environments for residents. Research has consistently shown that high quality design makes new residential developments more acceptable to local communities. Civic Voice, is asking communities to participate in Civic Voice Design Awards. We want to see more examples, such as St Valentines Close, Winchester coming forward. Winchester residents and the local planning authority collaborated to agree a design framework for a site which has now achieved a high started of design. It demonstrates how collaborative working can enhance the design process. It was successful in being awarded Highly Commended status in the Civic Voice Design Awards. The Civic Voice Design Awards are the people’s choice for architecture and the built environment. It is the only design awards scheme in England which allows communities to celebrate the buildings, places and spaces they love for their high quality design and positive impact on the local community by nominating them for a national award.

We want to hear from civic societies and communities about well-designed housing developments from across the country. We want to show that through greater public participation in the planning system, we can achieve high quality development, supported by the community.

If you are concerned by the impact of the quality of the nation's housing in your area then let Civic Voice know. Contact us at info@civicvoice.org.uk

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