LAS launch

RIBA president cautiously optimistic

Ruth ReedRuth Reed, speaking at the opening last night of an architectural show in Liverpool, said there were still reasons to be positive about prospects for development despite the cuts in the spending review.

The head of the Royal Institute of British Architects formally opened the Do It Yourself Integrated City exhibition organised by the Liverpool Architectural Society at the Capital.

She said: "It was good to see [in the spending review] there will still be spending on schools but the lack of supply of housing is an ongoing concern. We are keen to see the role of CABE [the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, threatened with closure by government] and other organisations continue to ensure design is part of the building programme."

Reed said she was hopeful there would also be new forms of public-private procurement model come forward to enable large developments to get off the ground.

The DIY Integrated City show contains nearly 30 designs for community-led projects around the outside of the city centre of Liverpool, touching on issues such as football clubs, canals and coast.

Trevor Skempton, president of the Liverpool Architectural Society, added that community involvement would be key going forward in the era of austerity. ""We used to use the phrase 'community architecture' but that became unfashionable and shows like this can focus ideas on how best to improve areas without having to spend lots of money. If architects are involved at an early stage we can produce good design without wasting money. Good design is not expensive; bad design is epexnsive because you regret it forever."

The show runs at The capital, Old Hall Street runs until 18 November.

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