A new charter that puts quality, sustainability, and community at the heart of planning has been launched today by the Welsh government’s Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James.
Developed in conjunction with the Design Commission for Wales, the Placemaking Wales Partnership brings together more than 25 organisations, which, by signing the Placemaking Wales Charter, pledge to:
- Involve the local community in the development of proposals
- Choose sustainable locations for new development
- Prioritise walking, cycling and public transport
- Create well defined, safe and welcoming streets and public spaces
- Promote a sustainable mix of uses to make places vibrant
- Value and respect the positive distinctive qualities and identity of existing places
The charter is supported by a short guide to placemaking that details the pledges as well as case studies highlighting good practice.
Launching the charter at the Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru 2020 – Digital Conference, Welsh Planner Live, the Minister said: “Lockdown has made us appreciate our local ‘places’ more so than ever before, and it’s vital therefore that all of us who work in the built environment sector strive to make the places where we live, work, shop or meet with others as good as they can be, for every member of society.
“We need to get our economy back on its feet. However, we need an environmental, social, cultural and economic recovery which is sustainable. Now, more than ever, we need to think about places and placemaking.
“We must ensure that a post-COVID world has people’s wellbeing at its heart.”
James added: “But we can’t do this alone. The development industry, local planning authorities, public bodies, the third sector, and the Welsh government need to work together, and it is in this spirit that I am delighted to launch the Placemaking Wales Charter.”
Chief executive of the Design Commission for Wales Carole-Anne Davies said: “Our vision is that Wales is simply a better place.
“Good design makes everything better, which is why the launch of the Placemaking Wales Charter is such an important milestone as we commit to developing people focussed, active, and distinctive places.
“Long-term, this will ensure the delivery of inclusive, socially connected, and vibrant communities throughout Wales.”
Earlier today, CIH Cymru called for the Welsh government to work with the housing sector in Wales to develop greener housing and tackle the stigma of social housing.
CIH Cymru said that the Green Partnership would include long-term funding to meet the costs of retrofitting in social housing, support for private landlords and homeowners, the use of modern methods of construction (MMC), and joint-learning between all parties.
Main image: Wrexham town centre
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