CABE sets Olympic challenge for local authorities
17 August 2008
As the Beijing Games draw to a close, CABE is challenging every local authority across the country to create public spaces fit for 2012.
As the Olympic Games reach a climax in Beijing, CABE is challenging every local authority across the country to create public spaces fit for 2012.
Launching its annual report for 2007/08, Richard Simmons, chief executive at CABE, said: "2012 will be a massive test of the quality of our public space. Not just in London, but right across the country when people gather in all the major civic spaces to watch and celebrate. So are we ready? Local authorities have four years to get it right."
To back this call for action, CABE is setting five gold standards for great public space, one for each of the Olympic rings, against which local authorities can judge their parks and squares:
- An inclusive space: does everyone feel welcome and safe?
- A distinctive space: does the space contribute to local character?
- A healthy space: does the space encourage active lifestyles where even the unathletic can be inspired to try for a personal best?
- A sustainable place: is there a long-term plan for effective management and maintenance?
- A green place: softer, greener, natural surfaces will adapt much better to climate change.
CABE's annual report highlights a raft of work helping local authorities to create successful, civilised spaces. Over the last year, CABE Space gave advice to 110 separate projects and led a nationwide programme, called Spaceshaper, getting young people and local community groups to play a key role in the design of parks. One hundred and eighty facilitators are now signed up to use Spaceshaper (a new practical toolkit to measure the quality of a public space) - more than three times the target. This was one of 20 targets set for CABE by the government for 2007/08. All of these were met, making this CABE's most successful year since the organisation was created nine years ago.
Other highlights for CABE in 2007/08 included: reviewing all major 2012 Olympic projects through the London 2012 design review panel with Design for London; design review assessing 367 schemes of strategic importance; signing up more than 20 local authorities to use the Building for Life criteria in the assessment of planning applications; supporting 97 per cent of new CLG projects in housing market renewal, housing growth areas and new growth points; and providing training sessions for 6,167 people (including Manual for Streets training).