Quality public realm that creates a sense of space highlighted in study on solving the housing crisis

A new report which insists 300,000 desperately needed extra homes could be built in the UK every year without an extra penny of Government spending has highlighted the crucial role of landscaping.

Quality public realm - Image HW
Quality public realm - Image HW

The "dysfunctional way we build homes" must be radically overhauled, said authors of Building the Homes and Communities Britain Needs, which drew on case studies rich in landscape and pointed to the need for good public realm.

Good practices included: "Making the public realm available early in a new development, which is crucial for the community. The spaces between buildings form a sense of place that often outlasts the changes in the buildings themselves."

The Royal Institute of British Architects, which commissioned the report, said: "The UK can be propelled out of recession, institutional and international investment encouraged, tens of thousands of new jobs generated and the chronic shortage of quality housing solved."

Housing featured included Woodberry Down in London, modern homes set in a sleek landscape of stepped grassed levels, trees, good-quality paving and striking water features. Other developments highlighted focused on expansive open spaces.

Recommendations placed strong emphasis on local authorities securing the necessary rental-housing developments by pooling their assets to provide local communities with better homes. The report followed a year-long detailed inquiry hailed as the first of its kind.

"Thousands of new communities need to be built. Their quality will be imperative to their future success, and the economic success of the country. This report details the housing revolution that is necessary."

Download the report at www.behomewise.co.uk

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