Open-City poll reveals Londoners feel excluded from local planning process

15 November 2010

Open-City new logoThe results of the London-wide survey we commissioned were released today, revealed that those living and working in the capital feel they have little say in the design of new buildings and public spaces in their local areas.

Of the 1,137 people who undertook the ‘Your buildings, your neighbourhood, your city’ online survey, 747 (65.3%) believe that they do not have enough of a say in their local built environment, despite the fact that the vast majority (98.2%) feel it is important for their local area to be well designed.

With more than 800 individual comments to the survey, there is strong public opinion that:

  • UK towns are in danger of losing their character and sense of place to insensitive, poor design
  • The needs and opinions of the local community are not genuinely valued, but that there would be support for well-designed new development
  • Many people believe that public consultation is conducted only as a tick-box exercise or often rushed - they would value a genuine conversation and involvement in the decision-making process

Open-City has been working with local councils since 1992, advocates that it is important for the development of a city to be an inclusive process. The organisation continues to provide meaningful engagement with councillors, young people and other stakeholders through its training programmes and resources. Through this, the aim is to enable those outside the built environment industries to be better informed, more knowledgeable and experienced advocates for better design.

Research, another of the organisation’s key activities, is regularly carried out into key issues and polls and surveys are often commissioned in order to provide insight into current attitudes to the built environment and planning. Victoria Thornton, Director of Open-City, said, “More innovative ways of public engagement are required in the planning process and dialogue has to be on-going rather than a one-off consideration, as is often currently the case.”

Read coverage in Planning Resource here