We have a job to do because of the poor design and bad buildings that surround us – houses where no-one wants to live, hospitals that make patients ill, and parks that people avoid at all costs. The fact is, everyone can think of a building they hate, a street that really depresses them, or a place where they’d call in the bulldozers. People don’t need to be told when the built environment around them isn’t working – they already know.

These essays highlight what really happens when buildings and spaces go wrong. 

Too often, the people who design and construct buildings and parks don’t worry about whether they will work properly or what will they cost to run. Once the project is complete, they can move on to the next job. But the public has to live with badly built, poorly designed buildings and spaces; and taxpayers often have to foot the bill for putting them right again.

This short-term thinking is costing us millions of pounds every year. So what can be done to change the way we invest in our built environment, to make sure we pay more attention to the long-term value and benefits of well-designed buildings? We are pressing for changes from government that will make a real difference on the ground.

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