Design champions are central to better public buildings
12 December 2006
The Better Public Building report outlines the steps that public bodies must take to ensure that everyone who uses public services benefits from good design.
Speaking at the first national conference for local authority design champions Tessa Jowell, the government's design champion, said
'The Better Public Building initiative provides the evidence that good design makes places work better. We want to see design champions in every relevant public body, and certainly in every local authority: people who will constantly demand the best for their communities and persuade their colleagues of the benefits of good design. We need people with ambition, leadership and determination who insist on excellence and resist mediocrity. Good design doesn't happen by accident. That's why the government has told local authorities that they need to drive improved design quality for housing and neighbourhoods.'
Despite a regulatory framework which now embeds good design in the planning process, too much poor design still gets approval, as shown by CABE's recent school and housing audits.
The new report Better public building , published for HM Government by CABE and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, sets out the steps that public bodies now need to follow to ensure that everyone who uses public services benefits from good design. It encourages every new public building to maximise its contribution towards mitigating climate change. The report shows that this does not need to cost more, provided that environmental sustainability is integrated fully into the design process from the beginning.