Politics, not design, is to blame for broken places

Where does culpability really lie?

Politics, not design, is to blame for broken places Event

Thursday 15 April 2010

Are places and buildings responsible for social problems, or does the fault lie with the political and planning processes that create these spaces? Today’s planning system is predicated on short-term political thinking and a reliance on populist agendas to design public spaces and buildings; and the proliferation of Quangos in the past 13 years has both vastly complicated the decision-making in the planning process and obscured accountability within it.

Will new localist agendas and their advocates – which claim to bring more power to the local level by scrapping regional powers – be the answer to our problems or will it simply lead to a more centralised Government? Or should we look towards architects and urban designers to carry the responsibility of fractured communities? How will a new Government impact on the built environment profession’s ability to provide successful places that foster community cohesion?

Chaired by Richard Reeves, Director of Demos, featuring:

Stephen Hill – C2o Future Planners
Nick Johnson – Deputy Chief Executive Urban Splash
John Thompson – John Thompson and Partners, Chairman Academy of Urbanism
Owen Hatherly – Academic and columist for BD, New Statesman and New Humanist

Start Date:

Thursday 15 April 2010 6.30pm

End Date:

Thursday 15 April 2010 8.30am

Event Address:


16 Brewhouse Yard, Clerkenwell, London, EC1V 4LJ, United Kingdom

Event fee:



Building Futures and Demos

For tickets email Lauren.McKirdy@inst.riba.org