The importance of placemaking

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Local Government Association (LAG) and Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) have come together to launch the Future Place scheme. It’s a joint two-phase initiative aimed at recognising and rewarding high quality placemaking across the UK, while sharing best practice, future ideas and plans.

Future Place intends to make building homes about more than just increasing the number of units. Effective placemaking puts communities at the forefront of development, addressing how creating new homes and a sense of place are inherently connected.

Improving the quality of life

Essentially, placemaking is about people. The building of new homes is not enough if we wish to create dynamic neighbourhoods. Investment in community groups, healthcare services and education is vital.

Towns and cities need to offer more than just a place to live. A mixture of employment opportunities, excellent local amenities, schools and community services are what gives a place identity and purpose. When done right, effective placemaking can also increase demand for property, boost an area’s economic value and ultimately improve the wellbeing of residents.

Local authorities as leaders

The Future Place scheme requests that local authorities take the lead in delivering exemplary placemaking visions by working collaboratively with the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Currently, local authorities are integral to making the placemaking process easier, creating thriving communities that are a pleasure to live and work in.

The private sector continues to play an imperative role by assisting with plans and building homes that respond to the country’s housing needs. The two should work much more closely and creatively to galvanise housebuilding and turn placemaking ideas into reality.

Alongside buy-to-let (BTL) and private rented sector (PRS) schemes, we need to supply genuinely affordable housing that will enhance the standard of living for low-income families and individuals. Greater collaboration between private and public sectors during the placemaking process is essential for achieving this.

Placemaking is a win-win situation

Building neighbourhoods where people want to live and work for generations to come is the end goal. Successful placemaking will have a ripple effect on society – more homes in the areas they’re needed, combined with investment in community facilities, amenities and public spaces, is hugely beneficial for boosting community spirit.

Bringing all of this to fruition is not a simple task, but the Future Plan highlights how working together is imperative. Visionary local plans, shaped by placemaking principles and supported by the local community, will help us begin to build the villages, towns and cities of the future.

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