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RIBA rolls out 2015 General Election campaign

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The RIBA wants its members to lobby parliamentary candidates around the country and get them to pledge ‘to build a better Britain’

In an attempt to mobilise the profession on social media before the forthcoming general election on 7 May, the institute wants its 35,000 UK-based members to encourage prospective MPs to make the following vow: ‘I promise to champion a better built environment for every community in my constituency to #BuildaBetterBritain’.

The call is part of the institute’s 2015 General Election campaign which includes among its demands a plea for 300,000 new homes to be built every year.

Based on the RIBA’s recently published report, Building a Better Britain: A vision for the next Government, the manifesto lists six key areas which the institute believes need urgent government attention.

    The #BuildaBetterBritain campaign

  • Better Homes Today
    The next Government must respond to the desperate need to build homes and make sure that we build homes that people want to live in and that enhance their lives. We built just 107,000 new homes in 2012/13 but need to be building 300,000 every year; in the next parliamentary term we need to build 1.5 million new homes.
  • Well-Planned Places
    Our planning system must become a visionary and inclusive process that can ensure the places we create are well designed for live, work and play.
  • Happy Healthy Places
    The next Government must look at ways to adapt to the needs of an ageing society, and promote healthier lifestyles. This means creating homes that are right for older people so downsizing is a desirable option and encouraging healthier transport options with a focus on active travel such as cycling and walking.
  • Creative Inspiring Schools
    need to be fit for purpose and able to meet Britain’s sustained population boom - 256,000 extra school places were needed in England for the 2014 school year alone. We need to build creative and inspiring schools by taking advantage of standardisation and economies of scale to help create timeless, but better value buildings.
  • Smarter Greener Buildings
    Over the coming years, investment in new, lower carbon energy sources will mean that energy bills will continue to rise. At the same time, many of the UK’s buildings are poorly maintained and expensive to heat. The impending UK energy crisis can be countered by smarter greener buildings.
  • Flood Proof Communities
    Flooding isn’t going to go away.  1 in 6 properties in England - around 5.2 million homes - are at risk of flooding (from all water sources: rivers, sea, surface water). The total value of assets under flood risk exceeds £200 billion - more than the current budget deficit. The next Government needs to build flood-proof communities by giving Local Authorities more power to block developments in areas vulnerable to flooding.

The institute has created a campaign website enabling architects and constituents to find and make contact with their candidates.

RIBA president Stephen Hodder said: ‘The built environment is vital to the financial and social success of our communities and country and the health and wellbeing of its inhabitants. RIBA’s clear priorities for the next Government, set out in the Building a Better Britain report, is the basis for this campaign.

‘Now is the time to talk about what that means locally and how every prospective MP can champion the built environment in their area.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • If Local Authorities don't already have the power to block developments in areas vulnerable to flooding it surely follows that everyone involved in expediting these developments - from landowners to architects - deserve to be sued for gross negligence. A parallel with those fine citizens with Swiss bank accounts?

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