Building back better and building beautiful have to be grounded in ‘genius loci’ – the spirit and harmony of the places and localities in which we are creating well-designed homes and delivering the vital infrastructure to renew or create strong communities. Beyond homes themselves, the discretionary decisions made in local policy around the public realm cast long shadows in determining the character of places, potentially for generations.
Our placemaking workstream seeks to examine the role of housing and infrastructure in promoting opportunity and prosperity, the role of investment in leading renewal and the role of planning in creating successful and sustainable communities.
Approaches to regeneration necessarily vary across the country and within regions to respect the genius and distinctions of place across our cities, towns and villages. This is as it should be. However, as we enter the end of one political cycle and await the start of a new one, what lessons, both broad and particular, […]
Across Britain, pubs have long stood as familiar and welcoming landmarks. Their significance goes beyond mere watering holes; they have consistently played a pivotal role in knitting communities together and promoting social cohesion. Inn-valuable looks at the value of pubs – to society and to the economy – looking at both first-hand evidence and a […]
The Government has recognised the benefits that second homes and short-term holiday lettings can bring to local economies and to the tourism sector in terms of increasing consumer choice and distributing tourism across the country. At the same time, the adverse effect that large numbers of second homes can have on some areas has been […]
Perhaps the greatest of the myriad challenges facing local government is the continued delivery of local public services against the headwinds of rising inflation and inexorable demographic pressures. With the dozen missions outlined in the Levelling Up White Paper due to be enshrined in law, and all relying on not just the upkeep but the […]
This short report is part of our ongoing series on the construction of a Local Resilience Act. As climate shifts worldwide, councils across England are being hit by increasingly extreme weather patterns including violent storm surges, unbearable temperatures, and widespread flooding. At the level of place, our local authorities are best situated to understand and […]
Council finances are in a precarious position. Wound tightly from the time of the astringencies of the 2010 spending review, to the limited protections that saw the sector through the Covid years, the principal cogs of local government finance – property taxes, commercial revenue, fees and charges, capital expenditure and grant funding, are clearly out […]
Just short of 250,000 new council homes were built in 1953. Housing minister Harold MacMillan permitted local authorities to build as many homes as there were applicants on the waiting list. The last year in which the current target of 300,000 homes was exceeded was in 1969, when 307,000 homes were completed: with the help […]
As the impacts of climate change become clearer every year, the UK must be better prepared for the manifold impacts of extreme weather events, including floods. In England alone, some 5.4 million homes – one-in-six – are at risk of flooding, with many of them susceptible to surface water flooding. Flood resilience is a public […]
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the context of a clear national mandate for levelling up, public organisations and councils across the political spectrum are waking up to the idea that there is a great deal more they can do in partnership with residents and communities. The Connected Society is a policy […]
There is perhaps no better barometer of local economic health than the local high street. Rightly or wrongly, nothing gives such an immediate impression of a place. And the recent pandemic has highlighted the importance of having a good local high street or town centre as we have rediscovered the pleasure – and sometimes the […]