Landscape Institute president criticises Sir Terry Farrell review for failure to tackle place-making

Landscape Institute president Sue Illman has slammed the Government-commissioned Sir Terry Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment, calling it backward-looking and inwardly focused.

The review was set up by creative industries Minister Ed Vaizey who tasked Sir Terry to make recommendations which will inform DCMS’s approach to promoting high standards of design.

It will look at the Government’s role in promoting design quality in architecture and the built environment, the economic benefits of architecture and how it can maximise the UK’s growth potential, cultural heritage and the built environment and promoting education, outreach, and skills.

But Illman said it was disappointing that the first such review since 2000 did not focus on creating "liveable cities" and asked no questions about many "established features of progressive urban design."

Sustainable environments, transport, infrastructure, SMART cities, green infrastructure, water-sensitive design and place-making were not being addressed, she claimed.

She said: "The cities in which we live are not composed just of buildings. We have a relationship with the natural and ecological forces that influence the structure and working of our cities.

"Any review of the built environment should be debating not only the role of well-designed and managed public space, but changes in land use, water sensitive urban design, the impact of major infrastructure and sustaining biodiversity, and we will be bringing these views to the review when we submit our formal response in a few weeks."

It is predicted that by 2030 two thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas and the Landscape Institute sees a strain on resources a clear outcome.

It promotes liveable cities which are more capable of meeting the social, environmental and economic needs of its citizens.

Such cities would include protection against flooding and water scarcity, well-designed public and green space, use of technology and design and be an environment which is attractive to investors.

Other countries are taking these concerns more seriously, according to Illman. The Australian Government has invested $20m over two years in its Liveable Cities Program.

She said: "There’s a danger this review will reset the terms of debate in unhelpfully narrow, backward-looking ways, and crowd out more relevant and interesting debates."

Interested parties have until 19 July to submit their views to the review. For more information visit

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