Spectacular buildings for everyone: how to stop ugly housing and fix urban planning for good

By Oliver Wainwright

What does success mean in architecture? Gleaming towers? Mega profits? Setting up your own practice? There could be a more fulfilling way. Meet the duo determined to lure architects back into working for the greater good

In 1979, 49% of all qualified architects in the UK worked in the public sector, designing housing, schools, hospitals and parks, in the rosy days when local authorities still had budgets for such luxuries. Now that figure is just 0.7%.

The dramatic decline has been due to both the removal of councils' powers to build their own housing, which ended under Margaret Thatcher, and the atomising of the planning process into specialist areas of expertise. Planning applications are now examined by officers responsible for heritage and highways, trees and bat welfare, but rarely is there someone with an overarching design vision for the place in question.

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Source: Spectacular buildings for everyone: how to stop ugly housing and fix urban planning for good