The Bartlett School of Architecture


The Bishop Review: The Future of Design in the Built Environment

6 December 2016

The Bishop Review


The Design Council and the Department for Communities and Local Government commissioned this review following the significant reduction in the size and status of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and its merger with the Design Council in April 2011. The review ran parallel with work on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and its recommendations set a future course for CABE and design review. 

The review addresses the central question of how good architectural, landscape and urban design can be achieved within a national agenda that focuses, on the one hand, on creating the conditions for the UK's long-term economic prosperity and, on the other, on the devolution of power to local communities. 

While the importance of good design is increasingly recognised by consumers in making individual choices on the products they buy, the case for good design in the physical environment still needs to be reinforced. At a time of scarce resources, design costs are in effect social costs, born by all and requiring careful justification. With reductions in public expenditure, a focus on localism and the reform of the planning system, it is right that the effectiveness and cost of design should be revisited as well as the most effective ways in which local communities can be assisted as they take up the challenge of reshaping their neighbourhoods.

One of the central remits of this commission has been to assess the most effective ways that a culture of good architectural and urban design can be constructed to complement the energies of all the major participants in the industry. This has entailed wide-ranging discussions with commercial developers, house builders, the professional institutes, local planning authorities and other local and national bodies.


Peter Bishop
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