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CABE set for new role as champion for urban space

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CABE is set to take on a new role as the nation's champion for urban space as the commission continues to expand its activities.

Deputy prime minister John Prescott has given CABE responsibility for raising the quality of the nation's urban spaces, in particular, its green areas.

The move builds on government recognition that improvement to the state of urban parks, squares and streets is vital to delivering an urban renaissance and restoring local pride in town centres and neighbourhoods. And it follows recommendations by the Urban Green Spaces Taskforce, which argued for a new body to promote the best use of green space.

A new unit, CABE SPACE, will promote and develop skills training, disseminate good practice and provide help and advice to local authorities on delivering improvements to the public realm.

Early priorities will be to encourage local authorities to put in place a strategy for improvements to urban space and to run a national campaign to raise public awareness.

Chief executive Jon Rouse said CABE believed the spaces between buildings were as important as the buildings themselves.

CABE will be looking for a high-profile director to head up the new unit.

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