In a bid to get the profession talking on social media ahead of the next general election in May, RIBA is calling on its 35,000-plus UK members to challenge prospective MPs to make the following vow: ‘I promise to champion a better built environment for every community in my constituency to #BuildaBetterBritain’.
The campaign is part of the institute’s wider calls for 300,000 new homes to be built every year and its manifesto lists six key areas for urgent government attention:
- Better Homes Today – the UK built just 107,000 new homes in 2012/13 and RIBA believes 300,000 a year are required to meet the demand of 1.5 million new homes in the next parliamentary term.
- Well-planned places – an overhaul of the UK’s planning system to become visionary and inclusive to create well designed homes for live, work and play.
- Happy, healthy places – calls for the next Government to look at new ways to adapt to the needs of an ageing society and promote healthier lifestyles.
- Creative, inspiring schools – schools need to be fit-for-purpose and able to meet Britain’s sustained population boom (256,000 extra places were needed in England for the 2014 school year alone).
- Smarter, greener buildings – over the coming years, investment in new, lower carbon energy sources will mean energy bills will continue to soar.
- Flood-proof communities – one-in-six properties in England are at risk of flooding from all water sources (rivers, sea and surface water).
Stephen Hodder, president, RIBA, said: “The built environment is vital to the financial and social success of our communities and country and the health and wellbeing of its inhabitants.
“RIBA’s clear priorities for the next Government, set out in the Building a Better Britain report, is the basis for this campaign.
“Now is the time to talk about what that means locally and how every prospective MP can champion the built environment in their area.”