Building Better Building Beautiful Commission report
After a jam-packed year of consultations, site visits, feedback and drafting, the final report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission was launched on January 30th. The report was co-authored by our director, Nicholas Boys Smith, alongside the late Sir Roger Scruton. It has been lauded as "seminal" and "landmark." You can read it in its entirety here or download a summary here
The report highlights eight priorities for reform of our development and planning framework, within which it makes 45 detailed policy recommendations. These include refocusing the planning system from development control to clearer plan-making, appointing a 'Minister of Place', creating a new stewardship kite mark, permitting a 'fast track' for beauty, re-greening our towns and cities and planting two million street trees - including one fruit tree per new house. You can read all 45 policy recommendations in full here.
The report also emphasises something that we at Create Streets strive to advocate for in our work - gentle density. Gentle density places are often the most popular neighbourhoods as they combine the advantages of propinquity and of personal space; walkable but not claustrophobic; enclosed but not over-shadowed; terraced not towered and with enough light to permit trees to flourish in medium rise streets and squares. They are frequently the most popular neighbourhoods in many towns and cities.
A new consensus for change?
The report has received very broad support from the Government, non-departmental public bodes, built environment practitioners, charities and both the specialist and general press. Below are just a few of the kind things peopel have said:
"A blueprint of passionate intensity, for a dignified and democratic planning regime." Sir Simon Jenkins, the Guardian
"Scruton's beauty report is an unexpected joy... this is a useful document written in language that the government will understand and hopefully take on board in the forthcoming planning white paper." David Rudlin, Chair of the Academy of Urbanism
"This is a truly fabulous piece of work. It has a serious chance of changing how this country looks in the years to come. Something momentous is within reach - thanks to this document - and now the job is just to move the machine a few inches in the right direction. And then beauty will have a real chance to turn into a living reality." Alain de Botton
The Times - Beautiful Buildings Make Life Worth Living
Building Design - Scruton's Beauty Report is an Unexpected Joy
The Spectator - Sir Roger Scruton's Last Report Could Revolutionise UK Housing
Dezeen - Housing commission final report recommends fruit trees and "fast track for beauty"
City Metric - What's Actually in the "Building Better, Building Beautiful" Commission's Report?
Architect's Journal - Beauty commission report: fast-track planning for beauty and fruit trees for all