The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has called on architects to use their skills and expertise to help communities make the most of their new planning powers and create exciting and bold visions for the future of their areas.
As the Localism Bill makes its final passage through Parliament, the RIBA has published two new guides for architects, outlining how the role of the architect can change under the new approach to planning and highlighting the crucial role that they have to play in helping communities understand the potential of their local built environment and prepare neighbourhood plans.
The Guide to Localism - Opportunities for architects Part one: Neighbourhood planning and Guide to Localism - Opportunities for architects Part two: Getting community engagement right will be launched on November 4, 2011 at the RIBA's planning and localism conference in Newcastle. The first guide explains how the proposed changes to the planning system will affect architects and highlights the design skills architects can use to get involved in developing neighbourhood plans. The second guide shows how architects can enable local communities to participate fully in shaping the way their local area looks and feels. Both guides draw on real-life examples, from Dewsbury Town Centre in Yorkshire to Broadway Community Garden at the Tilbury Estate in Essex.
"Architects have the skills and expertise to help realise localism," said RIBA President Angela Brady. "We can develop a 'vision' and bring inspiring ideas. We can help people set ambitious targets, have a real say in their local area, and create - through good design - places that will improve the quality of their lives.
Many of us are already working closely with local communities but we need to seize this opportunity to work together to create the best environment for their neighbourhoods."