Farrell: export London's design expertise and create a national park city

London should become a 'national park city', Sir Terry Farrell tells architects one year after review.

Farrell: importance of landscape
Farrell: importance of landscape

London is seen internationally as the creative capital of urban design and all professionals in the field, including landscapers, have a part to play in exporting its expertise, according to architect and planner Sir Terry Farrell.

Delivering a lecture to the Worshipful Company of Architects at the Royal Institute of British Architects discussing the Farrell Review one year after its launch, he emphasised the importance of landscape and green space as part of development.

Farrell said the increasing urban population around the world means that city making "is going to be the biggest enterprise in human history" and London's built environment expertise would have an important role.

He added that organisations such as the Landscape Institute should all play a part in the capital's role of exporting design.

Farrell said developments should always increase the amount of green space. London should create more parks as it densifies, he added, and the development of places that were previously "no-go areas", such as docks and canals, has opened up large new areas of green space.

"Any development should increase the amount of amenity and green space," said Farrell, adding that London should become a "national park city".

He said the city has 3,000 parks, with many other green spaces including allotments, nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest. "As we densify we should have an active policy of increasing that," he maintained.

The Farrell Review of Architecture & the Built Environment was commissioned by minister for culture and the digital economy Ed Vaizey in 2013 and it was published in March 2014.

Farrell explained that a number of steps have been taken to take forward the recommendations of the review, including the involvement of industry leaders and experts who will champion various aspects of it.

These industry champions have written position papers in recent months outlining how industry and the Government can take forward particular themes.

Farrell said the review has received "tremendous popular take-up" and rather than a report to Government it is "more of a movement".

A unifying idea that runs throughout the review is the importance of place - both in its literal meaning and as an acronym, standing for "Planning, Landscape, Architecture, Conservation and Engineering".

Farrell Review - Implementation to date

Since the publication of the Farrell Review in 2014, major steps have been taken to implement its many recommendations, including:

- The establishment of a House of Lords select committee on the built environment to scrutinise and explore placemaking and built environment policy.

- The establishment of a new Government housing design panel to help ensure that new homes are built to a high quality, are well designed and set the bar on housing design across the country.

- More than 15 "urban rooms" have been opened or announced throughout the country in response to the review's recommendation to establish spaces where "people can go to understand and debate the past, present and future of that place".

- The establishment of the PLACE Alliance to provide a collective voice on questions of place quality and facilitate cross-sector discussion.

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