The Urban Task Force has reconvened to deliver a package of recommendations to central government with the publication of its eagerly awaited new report
The advisory group, led by Richard Rogers, says that poor design still blights much of Britain's cities.
The group has also criticised the 'plethora of public sector regeneration bodies' which it claims is suffocating development in areas such as the Thames Gateway.
In addition, Labour peer Rogers has demanded more action to bring the white middle class back to city centres as a way of countering growing segregation and 'ghettoisation'.
Speaking this morning at the launch of the new report, Towards a Strong Urban Renaissance, Rogers said: 'Since the Urban Task Force was first convened by John Prescott in 1998, the fortunes of English towns and cities have turned the corner.
'No longer post-industrial centres of unemployment and failing public services, our cities are powerhouses of the UK economy. They stand confidently on the international stage.
'We must ensure that the quality of the built environment is of the highest design standards, to sustain real social and economic regeneration.'
The report comes shortly after a tour of England's 'core cities' by communities minister David Millband, and prior to publication of a 'state of the cities' report by the government in January 2006.
For further analysis of the report see this week's AJ (24.11.05).Urban Task Force reportby Rob Sharp