Delivering design value: the housing design quality conundrum

Well-designed places have an enduring sense of place and are characterised by diversity in form, function and community. Research has long shown that good design has a positive impact on health and wellbeing, the economy and environmental sustainability. As a result, the value of design is foregrounded in planning policy across the UK. Yet, the quality of new-build housing remains poor and design is consistently undervalued – we call this the housing design quality conundrum.

This report examines the complex and meandering process of planning, designing and developing new homes and neighbourhoods through a series of case studies conducted in all four UK nations during 2019 and 2020. Our aim was to understand why new homes and neighbourhoods are poorly designed and, using the evidence we collected, to make a series of recommendations about how the status quo might be changed.

Author(s): James White, Bilge Serin, Gareth James, Flora Samuel, Chris Foye
Published: 12 December 2020
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