© Sarah Lee
6 April 2017
by Jacob de Munnik
Last week we attended the launch of a new report from the Design Commission, People and Places: Design of the Built Environment and Behaviour, at the Houses of Parliament.
Lord Richard Rogers gave the keynote address, framing the context and need for the report:
"Good design – of buildings, public spaces and of neighbourhoods as a whole – is essential to making the modern city work. But we are not building these places, or even the number of houses that are needed to fulfil a basic human right; the right to habitat.”
The Design Commission's report contributes to the debate about how changes in the built environment can contribute to a healthier, happier and more prosperous society and the challenges it faces. What factors in our infrastructure significantly add to a happier and healthier life?
The report showcases case studies and examples of best practice on how to improve this relationship between citizen and the built environment and is structured around four areas:
- Healthy behaviours
- Environmentally sustainable behaviours
- Socially cohesive behaviours
- Productive, innovative and creative behaviours
"The Design Commission believes that in designing and constructing the environments in which people live and work, architects and planners are necessarily involved in influencing human behaviour. Throughout this inquiry, the Commission showcase case studies and best practice examples of how infrastructure can be used to design for positive behaviours and how design-led planning policy can create environments in which individuals and communities thrive." The Design Commission
Within the report, The Design Commission argues that there are clear design principles that can be led at different government levels, but that also the private sector has a key role to play as a behavioural change leader, rather than simply an implementer of policy.