A new campaign has been launched by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to draw attention to issues in the built environment, including developing flood-proof communities, building good quality homes, providing energy-efficient buildings and addressing the state of school buildings in the country – a scheme that any Manchester architect may like to get behind.
Dubbed #BuildaBetterBritain, the initiative is calling for the government to ensure that homes are built that people actually want to live in. In all, 300,000 properties must be built each year, with 1.5 million new homes required during the next parliamentary term.
Additionally, the government needs to look at how it can adapt to meet the needs of our ageing society and help promote healthier lifestyles by creating houses that are more suited to older people. Downsizing with a focus on walking and cycling are possible ways of going about this.
According to RIBA, about 5.2 million homes are at risk of flooding, so the campaign is calling on the government to construct flood-proof communities and give local authorities greater power in order to block any developments in places that are particularly vulnerable.
Work is already being done in this regard, with the government announcing in December last year that a six-year £2.3 million flood defence programme will be initiated in order to protect farmland, businesses and homes from Lancashire to Essex.
“The built environment is vital to the financial and social success of our communities and country and the health and wellbeing of its inhabitants. RIBA’s clear priorities for the next government, set out in the Building a Better Britain report, is the basis for this campaign,” Stephen Hodder, president of the organisation, remarked.