CABE’s “enabling” work has focused on creating better spaces, buildings and places across England. Its methods have evolved since it began in 2000 and its influence and achievements have been significant and varied, showing the value of practical, hands-on support, complemented by best practice guidance, examples and training.
Enabling has had two main strands: improving the quality of public buildings and delivering better urban and housing design. These activities expanded in their sophistication and reach over the next 10 years, becoming more closely associated over time with other areas of CABE work.
By 2008, enabling had developed into part of a wide-ranging design and planning advice service, which also included: funding for architecture centres, local pilot programmes in the North West, East Midlands, East of England and South West, support for local authorities in preparing statutory local plans (local development frameworks), and major training events, including the urban design summer school.
More about the enabling programme
Through enabling, CABE's on-the-ground knowledge of what methods work, how projects are performing against programme objectives and what leads to successful places has been influential on a range of clients, particularly central and local government.
CABE’s enabling work has aimed to change places for the better through face-to-face independent advice on projects, backed up with guidance and training.
Enablers are leading design and planning professionals appointed to a panel by CABE through open competition. CABE staff have been able to call on individual enablers to assist with specific projects and activities.
Enabling work with clients is fed back to CABE and then used to create guides, case studies, dissemination of material to support networks of clients and practical workshops.
Through enabling, CABE has tested a wide range of methods. Our work has been an evolving experiment, but it has provided solid results in terms of informed and demanding clients, and places and buildings that are better designed as a direct result of our advice.
Enabling support for high quality urban design and advice on housing design and delivery has spread across a number of programmes and activities.
CABE enabling has positively influenced several major programmes of public buildings through work with government departments and funders and local clients and project teams.