The Bartlett School of Planning


New Place Alliance report finds critical public sector design deficit

19 October 2021

The 'Design Deficit' report summarises the findings of a short survey of urban design skills and approaches within England’s local planning authorities, and how they have changed over time. A response rate of 71% was achieved.

Place Alliance

Reviewing the evidence, it is possible to conclude that whilst urban design and related skills in local authorities have stabilised, they remain at a low ebb and far below where they need to be in order to address the ambitious national agenda on raising the design quality of new development. Signs of the growing use of design review and design codes are positive, but recruitment of design officers into local government remains challenging, proactive community engagement in design is minimal, and design related training remains basic.

 At the current rate of change it will take until 2077 to have at least one urban design officer in every local planning authority in England.

Read more on the Place Alliance website.