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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 005 - Government support for Urban Design

005 - World Class Places

“World Class Places; the Government’s strategy for improving quality of place”, published in May 2009 and supplemented by an Action Plan in November 2009, reinforces the national commitment to delivering high quality sustainable places. Welcoming its launch the Government confirmed that “Good quality of place should not be seen as a luxury but as a vital element in our drive to make Britain a safer, healthier, prosperous, more inclusive and sustainable place.”

World Class Places is a strategy led by DCMS, CLG and the Cabinet Office, with close input from HCA, CABE and English Heritage. It is an excellent example of cross-departmental working to define a common ambition which recognises “Quality of Place” as an integral element of successful communities which offer a high quality of life.

The strategy defines quality of place as ‘the physical characteristics of a community – the way it is planned, designed, developed and maintained – that affect the quality of life of people living and working in it, and those visiting it, both now and into the future’.

The strategy outlines factors that shape quality of place:

  • Places that have a good range and mix of homes, services and amenities
  • Places with well designed and maintained buildings and places
  • Places with ample high quality green space and infrastructure
  • Places that understand the value of, and make the most of, their historic environment

The Action Plan that was published in November 2009 sets out how the Government, along with its partners, is delivering these strategic objectives and a cross-departmental Working Group has been set up to co-ordinate this process.


UDC2 Section - Sowing the Seed the Seed 

The Royal Festival Hall, London. High quality places can be a source of everyday joy.Images (image bank)