Policy exchange have published a paper 'Better Places - A Matrix for Measuring & Delivering Placemaking Quality' on a proposal to have a Placemaking Matrix to score new developments.
The paper has been authored by Ike Ijeh a practising architect, writer and author of two books on architecture, Designing London: Understanding the Character of the city (Lund Humphries, 2020) and The 50 Greatest Architects: The People Whose Buildings Have Shaped Our World (Arcturus, 2021). Ike has also been an architecture critic for two of the UK’s leading architectural trade titles and has lectured on the subject extensively in the UK and abroad.
The Placemaking Matrix contained within the paper sets out a series of questions whose answers can be used to calculate a score which then reflects the placemaking quality of any new development. The matrix has been tested on three very different real-life developments in London, Cambridge and Fife.
The matrix questions are divided into three groups, those that relate to the Physical, Socio-Economic and Psychological elements of any new development. This is claimed to form a major departure from conventional placemaking practice, while it is relatively easy to define physical attributes and, to a slightly lesser extent, socio-economic ones, no previous study or standard has attempted to quantify the psychological content of places and yet these are arguably the most important when assessing their human impact.
Michael Gove Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has written the forward to the paper and comments:
“ If we think of housing purely in numbers, we risk forgetting that we are building not ‘units’ and ‘public open spaces’, but homes and settlements for future generations. A dash for quantity does not resolve the central challenge of ‘placemaking’: how to ensure that these places will be beautiful, inviting neighbourhoods that foster a sense of community through human-scale buildings, plentiful green spaces and trees, and walkable streets that mix residential use with shops and businesses. These are the features that we know residents value. They encourage civility and respect for our fellow citizens, reduce alienation and enhance the environment we share.”
For information Michael Gove was the founding chairman of Policy Exchange, a onservative think tank launched in 2002.
A link to the paper can be found below.
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