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In a veiled attack on the development industry, RIBA president Marco Goldschmied last week blamed the pursuit of individual freedom and 'the sanctity of private land ownership and speculation' for the poor quality of architecture in the UK over the last 50 years. At the launch of a RIBA conference, Design Quality: the Evidence , Goldschmied claimed that principles of land ownership and development, where building design is a matter of individual choice, has undermined the quality of our built environment.' He continued: 'In our society, achieving lasting quality is something that can only be done through persuasion and individual vision. And what we have to show for it over the second half of the twentieth century is pretty mixed.'Goldschmied also renewed his attack on accounting and taxation systems 'that work against any notion of quality, that encourage short termism and encourage fuel waste'. See page 20 for more on the conference.

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