Last edited 15 Nov 2020

Our future in place, The Farrell Review of Architecture + the Built Environment (FAR)

Our future in place, The Farrell Review of Architecture + the Built Environment (FAR) was commissioned by Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in January 2013.

Undertaken by the architect, Sir Terry Farrell, with advice from a panel of 11 industry leaders, it was intended to be ‘a broad and independent review of our collective efforts to plan and design our future built environment’. Rather surprisingly, it was primarily funded Terry Farrell’s architectural practice Farrells.

The review was published following a consultation process involving panel meetings, workshops, themed sessions, an online call for evidence and meetings with government, politicians and professional institutes.

It follows in the footsteps of a number of previous reports, most notably Richard Rogers’ seminal Urban Task Force reportTowards an Urban Renaissance’ published in 1999. However, Farrell suggests that Rogers’ remit ‘…was focused more specifically on town centres and urban regeneration. It also differed in that its primary role was to help the policy formulation of a government taking office….’

In his foreword, Ed Vaizey suggests that five themes run through the Farrell Review:

In fact the report describes its themes as:

34 conclusions are drawn within these themes and set out in the executive summary to the review:

Education, outreach and skills

Design quality

Cultural heritage

Economic benefits

Built environment policy

These conclusions are accompanied by a set of 60 detailed recommendations in the full report. Recommendations include:

The review suggests that this report is just the beginning of a process of dialogue within the industry. Farrell states that they will continue to campaign to for better places throughout the UK and beyond and that they will examine party manifestos for the upcoming general election to see whether the review’s recommendations are being taken up. They will continue to update the Farrell Review website.

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) president Cath Ranson said the RTPI '... particularly values the Farrell Review’s recognition of the need to properly fund planning and the call for genuine joined up working across government departments...' ref RTPI welcomes Farrell Review recommendations 31 March 2014.

The report was also welcomed by the Royal Institute of British Architects, saying '...Government must not allow the report to gather dust on the shelf – they need to take responsibility for implementing it in partnership with industry'

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