Farrell Review makes recommendations for UK Architecture and the Built Environment


The Farrell Review, a UK industry-wide review of architecture and the built environment, led by Sir Terry Farrell and commissioned by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, was recently published. The findings have been compiled into a report with 60 recommendations with an emphasis on proactive rather than reactive planning system that needs to be revolutionise to include PLACE (Planning, Landscape, Architecture, Conservation and Engineering) reviews of existing places. The review also calls for urban rooms in towns and cities providing a forum for residents to understand and debate the past, present and future of the place.

The Farrell Review also calls for a reform in architectural training and for architecture and the built environment to be taught as early as possible in schools with alternative routes into architecture to be provide through apprenticeships. Other recommendations include an International Festival of Architecture  to be held annually in London to champion the Britain’s considerable strength in architecture, and its success as an export industry.

The review also pushes for the UKTI to represent the built environment professions as one industry to meet the global challenges of sustainable urbanisation rather than separating them into creative industries and construction and they should also establish a “Global Built Environment Forum” with representatives from the PLACE institutions and built environment agencies to jointly identify markets, sectors and themes. These institutions should promote their successful methods overseas.

There are many interesting recommendations including providing education for Planning committee members and highway engineers and that Built environment practices should enter into partnerships with local authorities to “champion the civic” through education and outreach.

Sue Illman, President of the Landscape Institute welcomed today’s publication of the Farrell Review saying:

‘The Landscape Institute is committed to ‘inspiring great places’ and welcomes the Farrell Review’s promotion of a new understanding of ‘PLACE’ bringing together planning, landscape, architecture, conservation and engineering.  This is a major step forward in recognising the need to fully integrate planning and design of the places that we create and maintain.

‘The Review acknowledges that ‘landscape is the primary infrastructure’ and that one of the greatest failures of focusing on development control is the quality of the public realm and that there is a need to strengthen the contribution of landscape, urban design and public art in making great places. We fully support the idea that funding for landscape should be demanded from developers by local authorities.

‘Following the LI’s recent publication on public health we particularly welcome the acknowledgement of the way in which public health can be ‘improved by creating human-scale pedestrian friendly spaces.’”

“Landscape architecture addresses both the built and the natural environment, therefore the commitment to a new level of connectedness between Institutes and government departments, (a theme echoed in our recent letter to the Prime Minister on the prevention of flooding) is welcomed. The flooding of the past few months illustrated the way in which different elements of the natural and built environment need to be fully coordinated and integrated in order to both tackle and prevent this type of disaster. A considered and integrated approach to how we create, plan and manage places is a highly desirable way forward.


Excerpts and the full Farrell Review can be download at the official The Farrell Review website.

About Damian Holmes 5445 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/