How do we want to live?

Jan Grimshaw

On 31 January 2021, the government responded to the January 2020 Living with Beauty report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.
If you have not already read the 2020 report, it may be accessed here

Lockdowns have given us pause to consider our values and how the planning system and construction industry impacts the people living in its buildings and using open spaces. I hope that, like me, you will find the report inspiring. Ironically, I have had to block the light from a large window to read the report on screen.

The report is an uplifting read, with fantastic photographs of beautiful living spaces. It encourages the government and the construction industry to be aspirational in its design and creation of neighbourhoods.

If nothing else, have a read through the conclusion: “And what next: from vicious circle to virtuous circle” starting on page 131. It concludes “We are heirs to beautiful towns, set in incomparable countryside. Our goal should be to pass that heritage to our successors, not depleted but enhanced. That is what it means to build beautifully.”
The government’s response is positive and complimentary and is accessible to view here 

I expect most of you know the lines:
“What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?”*

There is a kernel of hope that future planning and design will ensure everyone has surroundings worth staring at.

I have just seen in the AJ that the English Football League has agreed to the construction of a wooden football stadium in Gloucestershire. It is certainly eye-catching and, while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I consider it is beautiful. It will be an interesting project.

Jan Grimshaw, Head of Construction 07702 846 850

*Leisure, by William Henry Davies

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