Design Network to highlight landscape

Conference will stress the need to incorporate landscape into the design-review process for all new developments.

Farrell: awareness-raising aim
Farrell: awareness-raising aim

The need to incorporate landscape into the design-review process is set to be highlighted at a conference being organised by the Design Network.

The conference, details of which were due to be discussed on 15 August, will be held in London at the end of the year.

It will discuss how design reviews of new developments should be PLACE - "planning, landscape, architecture, conservation and engineering" - reviews.

The transition from design-review panels to PLACE review emerged in Sir Terry Farrell's Farrell Review, published earlier this year.

The review aimed to help raise the standards and overall awareness of architecture and the built environment.

It also mentioned how design reviews should be "less like a crit at architecture school with peers passing judgement and more enabling and collaborative".

The Design Network's intention to organise the conference was announced in its first quarterly progress report, which was published this month.

Design Network chairman David Tittle said design review panels are already PLACE review panels - it is just that not enough people are aware of this fact.

"Our response (to the Farrell Review) was that in many ways we are already doing PLACE reviews, in the sense that the review describes them," he said.

"But it is clear that many people have a narrow perception of the design-review process. So there is a challenge within what Farrell is saying."

Tittle revealed, for example, that his organisation, MADE, has a design panel consisting of 30 people - at least five of whom are landscape architects.

"We always have a landscape architect on our panel," added Tittle. "It is part of what we do. Design review is evolving and the conference is on how it should (continue to) evolve.

"There is a low level of design review take-up compared with the amount of building schemes around the country. How can we get the industry to embrace it more wholeheartedly? The more we can make design review attractive, the more we can improve take-up."

Partnership - Promoting sustainability

The Design Network is made up of eight not-for-profit groups that promote better and more sustainable places to stimulate economic growth.

Chairman David Tittle pointed out that the network is also working to get local authorities to use design review as the National Planning Policy Framework says they should.

He added: "We are working with local authorities to get that updated and working with developers and architects to promote it."

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