Learning from lockdown: Why placemaking should be at the centre of the recovery

Ben Derbyshire

Our damaged communities need a positive vision of the future, says Ben Derbyshire

Being confined to our homes during the lockdown has heightened our awareness of space and place. Placemaking has never been more important as Lord Richard Best pointed out in his foreword to the recent RIBA report, ‘Future Place, unlocking the potential of places’. Many town and cities already have urgent, multiple challenges including the climate crisis, economic challenges and demographic change to name a few.

Now a new challenge has been overlaid across society as we emerge from the pandemic and seek to invest again in profoundly damaged local communities and economies. Best makes the observation that place is the lens which enables these challenges to be considered in a holistic way, so that national policy objectives can be joined up in locally delivered solutions, driving outcomes that are greater than the sum of the parts.

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