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Weekend roundup: Stirling Prize goes to the right kind of sustainability


The AJ asks in its survey, ‘will Goldsmith Street’s Stirling Prize win bring about a new wave of well-designed, eco-friendly council housing?’ Of course it would be brilliant if this becomes the “pioneering exemplar for other local authorities to follow”, that the judges suggest. But an exemplar of what exactly? It’s ‘environmental’ credentials are clear but what are it’s ‘social’ credentials? Sustainable development (which underpins our planning system) has 3 ‘dimensions’: economic, social and environmental, with the ‘social dimension’ defined as “supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities”. Yet none of the descriptions or press comment have picked up on this aspect. We’re told the design fosters “strong community engagement and social cohesion”. But did the existing community have any involvement? Does it address identified social needs? What is its impact on the surrounding area? Does it contribute to a sense of local identity? In short, will it help bring about a new wave of thriving communities? If Goldsmith Street is also exemplary in this social sense we must yell about it from the rooftops. Let’s play Goldsmith Street’s moment of glory for all it’s worth!

Posted date

14 October, 2019

Posted time

4:31 pm