Place professionals back new industry group

More than 100 professionals and organisations representing the UK’s architecture, design and built environment industry have come together to endorse the Place Alliance - a new, cross-sector collaborative alliance for place quality. The new alliance will provide a powerful collective voice on questions of place quality and facilitate cross-sector discussion and debate around improving our everyday environment.

At a major industry event on Tuesday 24th February, facilitated by Professor Matthew Carmona of UCL, leading figures from over 70 different organisations met to support the Place Alliance and to engage with its work. The Place Alliance will share knowledge and collaborate towards the overall goal of creating buildings, streets and spaces that enhance the quality of life for communities.

The Hon Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, attended the ‘Big Meet 3’ and expressed his support for the Place Alliance, which will operate independently of Government. He said: “I wholeheartedly support the establishment of the Place Alliance. Good design improves quality of life, builds communities, and makes places better for people to live, work and play in. The Place Alliance has the opportunity to bring together the many diverse voices across the built environment sector to provide a powerful platform for the industry. 

I believe it will play a central role in ensuring that the importance of design quality is paramount when planning our future towns, cities and everyday places, and I look forward to the contribution that it will make.”

Professor Matthew Carmona, of UCL Bartlett, said: “The Place Alliance will provide a powerful collective voice to argue the case for place quality.  At Big Meet 3 a wide range of organisations and individuals signed up to support our work, and the Place Alliance now has a strong remit to represent the sector.  Ultimately, our challenge is to raise aspirations for local place quality. Not just amongst the professionals, but within local communities and the politicians who represent them” 

The Big Meet 3 also heard from Max Farrell, Partner at Farrells and Project Leader for the Farrell Reviewof Architecture and Built Environment, which was published last year.

Max Farrell said: “We have been overwhelmed by the impact the Farrell Review has had since its publication. From the many ‘Urban Rooms’ that are rapidly multiplying up and down the country to the establishment of the Government’s Design Advisory Panel and the launch of the Place Alliance, the Review is making an impact and sparking action. 

The key to the Alliance is a strengthening of existing and new networks. Whether it's urban rooms or community groups, it will go a long way to helping make architecture and the built environment a bigger public issue in this country. We are particularly pleased that the review has cross-party support and that the industry is showing leadership on important issues like education in schools, design literacy for decision makers and proactive planning.”