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Who are we meeting with?

How we define ‘heritage’ continues to evolve and the Farrell Review is excited to consider how we might broaden this term to continue to enhance our national appreciation for the historic built environment. This week we met with members of our expert advisory panel to discuss how to preserve the old and still encourage the new. RIBA’s recent awarding of the Stirling Prize to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for Astley Castle is only the most recent reminder of how much our society values its cultural heritage. According to Valuing our Heritage, a joint publication by several heritage-focussed organisations, 87% of people think the historic environment plays an important part in the cultural life of our country, and the Farrell Review looks forward to ensuring it remains a relevant and exciting aspect of our culture.

We also met this week with Clare Devine, Director of Architecture and the Built Environment at the Design Council. It was an enjoyable opportunity to discuss the Design Council’s submission to our Call for Evidence and consider their recent experience and goals with respect to understanding the value of design.

Finally, we have also spent the week considering the role of mayors in advancing innovative and far-reaching policies, including design-conscious development. In the past week, a number of events across the country have featured Bruce Katz and Benjamin Barber, both advocates of metropolitan focussed development and the pivotal role of city mayors.

What are we reading?

In preparation for our panel meeting on cultural heritage, this week we reviewed some major reports on heritage, including The Power of Place and Valuing Heritage. This was also a chance to consider the broader public and institutional understanding of history, and the built environment as a repository for contemporary societal values. We’ve also enjoyed consulting several of the Design Council’s recent publications, which have been helpful tools as we prepare to formulate our own recommendations.

What are we watching?

For those who did not have a chance to attend one of several recent discussions about the role of the city and city mayor in our globalising world, here is a chance to consider why, according to Benjamin Barber, mayors should rule the world:

Why Mayors Should Rule the World, Benjamin Barber

photo credit: Astley Castle Renovation by Bruce Stokes, used under a CreativeCommons license

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