The commitment to public investment in places is welcome, but how this commitment is delivered remains just as important, says LI Head of Policy and Insight Ben Brown.

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled plans for a £5 billion infrastructure ‘new deal’ to soften the economic effects of COVID-19.

Following the announcement, Ben Brown, Head of Policy and Insight at the LI, said:

‘The Prime Minister’s “Build, Build, Build” announcements are a signal of what is to come. The commitment to public investment in places is welcome, but how this commitment is delivered remains just as important.

‘There is a stark choice. We can build places that deliver for people and nature, or we can mirror our response to the 2008 crisis and revert to quick, poorly-designed, high-carbon solutions. Projects need to be “shovel-worthy” as well as “shovel-ready”.

Environmental standards must not be seen as a stuffy barrier, but as a tool that can deliver greener, healthier and more accessible places.

‘The Prime Minister mentioned low-carbon, beautiful homes. But he also called for relaxing planning regulations – a move that could well deliver the opposite. Environmental standards must not be seen as a stuffy barrier, but as a tool that can deliver greener, healthier and more accessible places.

‘We have learned during the pandemic that the public value and need access to nature and green spaces. Our members work to ensure that these spaces are designed and maintained – but they need proper investment.

‘We must focus on how we build back better, on how we build green, build healthy and build resilient. Delivering high-quality landscapes must be key part of any recovery programme.’

The LI policy team is currently consulting with members on a green recovery strategy, setting out the role of landscape in any ongoing response. For more details, contact policy@landscapeinstitute.org.

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