Shape East is one of eight not-for-profit organisations working to promote better places, which have come together to form the Design Network.
The Network provides design review, design support, training, community engagement and place-based economic development services throughout England.
Network members are individually affiliated to Design Council Cabe as providers of quality assured, independent design review, as proposed in the National Planning Policy Framework. Other activities include design workshops, support and advice to local authorities, support for neighbourhood planning and rolling out training for the new Building for Life 12 standard.
The Network members are:
Shape East (East of England)
Kent Architecture Centre (South East)
Creating Excellence (South West)
MADE (West Midlands)
North East Design Review and Enabling Service (North East)
OPUN (East Midlands)
Places Matter! (North West)
Network members work closely with professional bodies in their regions. RIBA and the Landscape Institute have already signalled their support for the move. Harry Rich, CEO RIBA said:
"The quality of the built environment affects us all. Design Review is a respected method of improving the quality of development by offering constructive, impartial and expert advice. The RIBA actively supports design review and is pleased to be working with the Design Network."
Alastair McCapra of the Landscape Institute said:
‘‘Design Review is a proven way of ensuring that the landscapes we create are designed in a way that looks elegant and functions successfully. Every aspect of the built environment benefits from this process. The Network is a great way of ensuring that this service is widely available.”
Nichola Harrison, Chair of Shape East’s Trustees, said:
“Shape East is delighted to represent the Design Network as part of the national drive to achieve high quality in the built environment through the planning process. In its National Planning Policy Framework, the government has recognised the importance of independent, quality assured design review and our service is an effective way for local authorities and developers in eastern England to embrace this challenge.”