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Royal College of Art on future housing

We were delighted to welcome the Royal College of Art to our 'Intelligent Cities' forum at White City Place, London this month.

Leader of the RCA's new City Design MA, Dr Tarsha Finney, joined the Managing Director of Bexley Co, Huw Lewis, and WYG Planning Director, Anne Clements to discuss why we need new approaches to designing homes at greater density.The panellists also talked about attracting inward investment and how to create' place' in new housing projects across the UK.

‘The great re-organisations of London' Tarsha said,' in the Victorian era were all about social reform, clearing away slums, delivering housing for the “worthy poor”, and this has left a high quality housing legacy that we can see and appreciate now as at the Boundary Estate and Arnold Circus in Bethnal Green.

'Our understanding however of what housing can do now is much more complex. There is a sense that we need to co-locate housing alongside production in a more effective way.

'As we move towards higher density in cities, we need to experiment more to produce better homes. The English certainly need to get over their obsession in individual homes with gardens. We can keep our dogs, and access parks and open spaces instead - and we do need to experiment with new typologies for housing'.

'We need to look at new research on how we share space and make building design respond to the scourge of loneliness, and make roof levels work for gardens and growing food. All of this calls for enlightened developers'

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