Design Council CABE's review 'ignores' green spaces

Green space groups say Design Council CABE's Bishop Review largely leaves issue off the agenda.

Design Council CABE has come under fire for soft-pedaling green spaces in its long-awaited review of the future of design in the built environment.

The Bishop Review was the culmination of talks with architecture, planning, housing and surveying professional groups, but the Landscape Institute was the only green-space organisation with a role.

The document called for Design Council CABE to "empower" others to deliver good design and ditch the current centralised system of design reviews.

Author Peter Bishop said: "Communities are the new clients. What is required are new models of engagement, clear advice and a simple point of access to support." He called for a national design agenda and for Design Council CABE to offer strategic advice to the Government at all levels of procurement.

The group should become a centre of excellence to pool research and lead innovation, he added.

Landscape Institute president Jo Watkins said the document clearly set out the importance of good design but said this made it "all the more important to have robust and reliable design support across the country for our landscapes".

Parks consultant Sid Sullivan said: "CABE Space was launched a few years ago as a consolation for not having a full-blown department, but it had 25 staff. Only about four people moved across, and what can they realistically achieve?

"I want to see how Design Council CABE will work with sector groups such as GreenSpace and institutes of horticulture, groundsmanship and arboriculture. From what I gather, this has little to do with parks but buildings and rebranding the council."

Greenspace consultant Peter Wilkinson sat in a seminar before publication and said: "I don't think the words 'green space' were mentioned until 20 minutes before the end, and then the debate went back to the hard stuff."

Key Stat

Percentage of all carbon emissions for which buildings are responsible - 50%.

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