Creating Streets Instead Of Fortresses

Create Streets is a group that thinks that we should be building well-designed in old-style streets. It describes itself as follows:

Create Streets is a non-partisan social enterprise and independent research institute focusing on the built environment. We encourage the creation of more and better urban homes with terraced streets of houses and apartments rather than complex multi-storey buildings. We support reform of the planning system to make it more effectively responsive to what people like in the built environment and campaign for community-led building and locally-supported estate regeneration to deliver homes that are popular and stand the test of time.

They are concentrating more on cities than small towns, but if you are interested in planning their website is worth a look. They have a page for councillors here

Here’s a sample:

Architectural awards ARE a good indicator of popularity ? but only if you invert them. We are aware of nine architectural or planning awards that the least popular two options have received. We are not aware of any architectural or planning awards that the most popular option has received

  • I would like to see more selectivity,when approving the design of new building, especially larger focal point large structures. I appreciate it is easier said than done with our planning law. But has anyone ever wondered, like me, how some towns [usually wealthy] get better designed buildings, while other areas [usually poorer] get dumped on from a great height in design terms. Shock horror! those same dumped on towns suffer more vandalism and antisocial behaviour. Coincidence maybe. But both types of town are working under the same planning law. Good design doesn’t have to look back to historic styles but the familiar will certainly be more acceptable to most people quickly, but can slip into pastiche if that same selectivity is not enforced. Nothing wrong in being challenged by the new of course – if it is quality. Finally yes Rochford Council are supposed to have an architectural award scheme but you will be forgiven for not noticing anything in recent years.

  • We took centuries developing a neighbourhood system that generally worked then someone thought they would try the equivalent of re-inventing the wheel by putting families in high rise boxes with no possible community possibilities. Result sink estates where no one really felt they belonged. That they are slowly disappearing can only be welcome. It might look dated but the once ‘largest council estate’ in Becontree Barking/Dagenham was a blueprint for community inclusion that we should have developed. Then I am not a planner!