One year after Ed Vaizey commissioned Sir Terry Farrell to review the state of the UK's built environment, The Farrell Review is ready for public consumption
“A body doesn’t own architecture or the built environment,” Sir Terry Farrell declared last week at the official launch of The Farrell Review at the RIBA Headquarters. “It belongs to everyone.” Over the past year, Farrell (supported by a key panel and approximately 90 individuals) has been compiling The Farrell Review for Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The resulting document is a comprehensive and independent report on the current state of architecture and the built environment in the UK, targeting areas that can be improved upon and how this may be achieved. The public sector is not the focus of The Review, Farrell was keen to stress at the launch, but all industry figures must work together to better the state of the built environment, supported by stronger government leadership.
Farrell encourages a more thorough understanding of the built environment for all members of society beginning at school age, suggesting that elements of the industry be integrated into the national curriculum. This would include teaching the built environment through subjects such as physics, biology or history at school level and continuing this education through professional training.
At the core of The Farrell Review is ‘A new understanding of PLACE’, with the term now standing for Planning, Landscape, Architecture, Conservation and Engineering. This overarching theme can be broken down into five elements that run through The Farrell Review:
1. A new understanding of place-based planning and design
2. A new level of connectedness between government departments, institutions, agencies, professions and the public
3. A new level of public engagement through education and outreach in every village, town and city, and volunteering enabled by information and communications technology
4. A commitment to making the ordinary better and to improving the everyday built environment
5. A sustainable and low-carbon future
In the introduction to his review, Farrell states: "As a nation, we are extremely well equipped to provide the kind of sustainable city making skills that will be in greater demand around the world and our global reputation is something to be proud of.
"The UK itself should be a showcase for what can be achieved when planners, landscapers, architects, conservationalists, engineers, artists, developers and house builders work together. Yet the reality in the majority of our villages, towns and cities is far from world class."
Click here to download the full report.