With the drive to deliver more homes across the country has come a loud call for those developments to be of a high standard of design in order to deliver high quality, liveable and sustainable environments for residents. Research has consistently shown that high quality design makes new residential developments more acceptable to local communities and delivers huge value to all.
Housing design audits represent systematic approaches to assess the design quality of the external residential environment. This new audit by the Place Alliance evaluates the design of 142 large-scale housing-led development projects across England against seventeen design considerations. It provides enough data for comparisons to be made regionally and against the results of previous housing design audits conducted over a decade ago. It establishes a new baseline from which to measure progress on housing design quality in the future.
Whilst some limited progress has been made in some regions, overwhelmingly the message is that the design of new housing environments in England are ‘mediocre’ or ‘poor’. Collectively, we need to significantly raise our game if we are to create the sorts of places that future generations will feel proud to call home.
Findings and Recommendations
Based on a design audit of 142 housing developments across England, and correlations with data on market, contextual and design governance factors, a number of conclusions were drawn. These concern the type of housing that is being delivered, what is going right and wrong, and why there is such a variation in practice across the country.
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