Thursday, 14 March 2019

Will the 'Future Places' programme for Greater Exeter "enhance people’s lives, improve community wellbeing and create sustainable environments"?

Exeter is facing huge expansion:
Futures Forum: How to sell the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan and its 2,661 new homes a year > offer a 20,000-capacity sports stadium

It's all about housing:
Futures Forum: What's wrong with the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan > "Huge housing growth does not appear to correlate with very modest job growth."

We won't know exactly how much, though, until after the elections in May:
Futures Forum: How much housing and industrial development will happen in East Devon under the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan? >>> We will only know after the upcoming District Council elections in May

We do know that this will impact on East Devon:
Futures Forum: East Devon is taking a disproportionate share of development >>> “Because we have the land and we are good at it”
Futures Forum: A new East Devon local plan will have to implement the strategy set out in the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan by 2023

Especially on those places immediately adjacent to the city:
Futures Forum: Save Clyst St Mary > "Village Life -vs- Future Development"

This is because East Devon is now de facto part of something called 'Greater Exeter':
Futures Forum: The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan and 57,000 new houses

The VGS news pages have been keeping an eye on the wonderful things happening to the city itself:
Liveable Exeter “highlights the property crisis while trying to solve transport challenges”
A better connected, more ‘liveable’ Exeter
Exeter Vision 2020: ‘sustainable development’?

It seems the same wonderful things are going to happen to the conurbation: 

Future Place

The Future Place programme run by the Royal Institute of British Architects(RIBA), Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Local Government Association(LGA), Homes England and Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) - is a joint, two-phase initiative which will unlock place-making potential at local level through quality in design, future thinking, and knowledge sharing. The programme has been designed to promote best practice and the potential of innovative delivery, design and funding models, cross-sector collaborations capacity building, and knowledge sharing at a local level.

Greater Exeter

By 2040 Greater Exeter wants to be recognised as a global leader in sustainable living and one of the most active, healthy and accessible cities in England

Future place | architecture.com
Future Place Greater Exeter | architecture.com 

It's made quite a story:
Five English regions get expert support for place making | News | Architects Journal
Exeter recognised for ambition and vision to create a great place for the future | The Exeter Daily
Five places win professional body recognition for quality plan-led placemaking | Planning Resource

Looking at the project, there are questions, however:

> Will 'knowledge sharing' actually involve speaking to the already-existing populations? 
Futures Forum: District Council to consider government's latest forecast for minimum number of new homes to be built in East Devon > "Planning for the future will ensure we are not subject to the whims of others."

> How will 'need' be measured?
Futures Forum: Future housing needs and requirements in East Devon

> Will mistakes over bad design for other large-scale projects be taken into account?
Futures Forum: An ever-expanding Cranbrook: "There are significant issues to resolve around how services and facilities are to be provided in the town in the future and how these are to be paid for."

> Will being 'recognised as a global leader in sustainable living' mean doing more than just contributing to the traffic gridlock?
Futures Forum: Exeter is now the slowest city in the UK
Futures Forum: Gridlocked Devon >>> 'Devon Live' to debate "some of the major travel problems facing the county." >>> and to investigate "the attitude of local authorities to sustainable travel and highlight some of Devon's pollution hotspots"

> Let alone properly contributing to quality of life?
Futures Forum: Air pollution, traffic congestion and development >>> Building a new shopping centre to the west of Exeter "would cause traffic chaos"

> Will independent thinking be taken on board - in order to 'enhance people’s lives, improve community wellbeing and create sustainable environments'?
Futures Forum: "What would a zero carbon city look like?" > Transition Exeter: talk and discussion: Friday 1st March

And as East Devon is 'part of' Greater Exeter, the District Council feels it can pat itself on the back, as this press release from today shows: 

'Future Places' recognition for East Devon

When this content has been created

14 March 2019

'Future Places' recognition for East Devon

'Future Places' recognition for East Devon

East Devon, as part of Greater Exeter, has been recognised as one of only five 'Future Places' to support future development of the area.

The Greater Exeter area has been recognised as one of five places in England that has the vision and ambition to create great places for the future.

Greater Exeter was named as part of the Future Place programme.  This initiative is intended to unlock placemaking potential through quality in design, future thinking and knowledge sharing. 

The area will receive training and expert advice in helping to develop the Liveable Exeter Vision, which will see 12,000 new homes built within the city between 2020 and 2040, as well as supporting the wider programme of development across the Greater Exeter area.

The prestigious initiative is run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Local Government Association (LGA) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

The capacity building programme is based on three pillars: promotion, expert advice and training.  The initiative will support the Greater Exeter partnership – made up of Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council, Mid Devon District Council and Teignbridge District Council, supported by Devon County Council – in helping to develop the vision for the future development of the area. 

As a joined up area, Greater Exeter has a population of 480,000 people. By 2040 it wants to be recognised as a global leader in sustainable living and one of the most active, healthy and accessible cities in England. 

In its announcement, RIBA said: “All five Future Places are determined to deliver meaningful change which will enhance people’s lives, improve community wellbeing and create sustainable environments. While each place is very different, they all work in collaboration with public, private or voluntary sector partners to develop and advance innovative placemaking strategies.”

The five ‘Future Places’ selected are:
  • Bradford
  • Greater Exeter
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Gateshead
  • North Northamptonshire

Cllr Ian Thomas, Leader of East Devon District Council said:
This is great news both for East Devon and for our partners in the Greater Exeter area.  The support available through the Future Places  programme will help us not only to develop our ambitious vision for the future but also ensure that this is delivered on the ground, helping to create the high quality places that all our residents can enjoy in the future.
Exeter City Council Leader Pete Edwards, said:
This is great news for Exeter and the Greater Exeter area and will help us raise the standard of design quality and deliver a transformational housing programme across the city. 
Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Leader of Teignbridge District Council, said:
This is fantastic news for Teignbridge and its partners within the Greater Exeter area. We have a strong track record of working together for the good of our area by providing the homes they need so communities remain sustainable in the future. 
Tristan Peat, Forward Planning Team Leader, Mid Devon District Council, said:
This announcement is fantastic news and will help the Exeter, Teignbridge, Mid Devon and East Devon councils work together to help achieve better outcomes for everyone across the Greater Exeter area.
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said:
This is good timing as we have just come to the end of our consultation on the Exeter Transport Strategy, which has ‘greater places for people’ as one of its three key themes. This means thinking about how walking, cycling and attractive urban public transport will support the vitality of the city and enable people to lead more healthy and fulfilling lives. I’m sure this programme will help us develop these ideas further in the context of growth for the city.
RIBA President Ben Derbyshire, said:
Local Authorities play a vital role in creating happy, healthy and sustainable communities, and I am pleased to support their initiative, investing in public engagement and collaborative planning to design the best possible environments. The commitment, despite financial and political barriers, is highly commendable, and I look forward to working with all five over the next phase of the programme, learning the lessons as they develop their vision to and celebrating their success.
The RIBA is allocating a RIBA Client Adviser (all of them RIBA Chartered Architects) to help each selected area develop their vision.

14 March 2019 - 'Future Places' recognition for East Devon - East Devon

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