CABE has appointed Julia Thrift, head of programmes at the Civic Trust, as the first director of its new urban green-spaces champion, CABE Space.
Thrift will be in charge of the new unit, funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and will be responsible for improving England's public spaces and parks, through a mix of campaigning, researching and lobbying.
While at the Civic Trust, she worked on the Green Flags Award for parks and green spaces and the Civic Trust Awards for the built environment.
Thrift said the new unit represents a chance to make a serious improvement. 'For the first time in decades there is a real opportunity to make our parks and public spaces better - something everybody wants, ' she said.
ODPM regeneration minister Tony McNulty added that the new unit will have strong support from government. 'We take very seriously the need for good-quality open spaces, ' he said. 'Julia and CABE Space will have a big part to play in raising the standards of green space across the country.'