Nine out of ten agree better buildings and places improve quality of life
15 September 2009
Dominy Bird, 020 7070 6772, email@example.com
Nearly nine out of ten people (87%) agree that better quality buildings and public spaces improve their quality of life, according to new research published today by CABE, the government’s design advisors, on its tenth anniversary.
In polling conducted by Ipsos MORI, more than eight out of ten people (82%) say they are interested in the look and feel of buildings and public spaces. Only three per cent of the population doesn’t believe the quality of buildings and public space has an impact on their health and wellbeing. The results reveal how much the public cares about the quality of the built environment.
Men and women appear to agree equally (both 87%) that better quality buildings and public space improves their quality of life. And ethnic background seems to make little difference to people’s interest in buildings and places (83% and 81% of white and BME people, respectively, say they are interested). But older people tend to be more interested in how the built environment looks and feels to use than younger people; while those approaching retirement age are more than a fifth more engaged (22%) than people aged 16-24.
There are key regional differences. Over a quarter (26%) of East Midlands residents are not interested in how buildings or public spaces look or feel. By comparison, nearly nine out of ten (87%) people in the North West region said they were interested.
The quality of the built environment is seen as important by voters across the political spectrum. Only two per cent of people who intend to vote Conservative don’t have any interest in what buildings, streets, parks and public spaces look or feel like to use. This compares with four per cent of people who said they would vote Labour and three per cent who said they would vote for other parties.
Richard Simmons, CABE chief executive said: ‘It’s vital that people making critical decisions about public spending appreciate exactly what the public wants and values. The quality of buildings and places are clearly not a party political issue: they simply affect everyone, every day.’
At a conference to mark its tenth anniversary on Wednesday (16th September), CABE will explore how a progressive shaping of the built environment can contribute to economic recovery and community building. Speakers include broadcaster and historian Simon Schama, chief executive of the Olympic legacy company Andrew Altman, poet Ian McMillan and award winning architect Alison Brooks.
Notes to editors
- If you would like to attend the conference or request images please contact Dominy Bird on 020 7070 6772 or Jane Barraclough on 020 7070 6771 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- To download a copy of CABE’s ten year review please follow this link: www.cabe.org.uk/publications/ten-year-review
- The statistics are sourced from an omnibus survey conducted by Ipsos MORI from 16 to 21 July 2009.
- CABE is the government’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. As a public body, we encourage policymakers to create places that work for people. We help local planners apply national design policy and offer expert advice to developers and architects. We show public sector clients how to commission buildings that meet the needs of their users. And we seek to inspire the public to demand more from their buildings and spaces. Advising, influencing and inspiring, we work to create well-designed, welcoming places. www.cabe.org.uk