Find below a curated list of research, reports and essays from the Prince’s Trust Australia and our contacts in Australia and around the world.

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Knight Frank was commissioned by Her Majesty’s Government of Great Britain’s Building Better Building Beautiful Commission to research the challenges facing landowners and to identify whether there is an added commercial or other value, and to what extent, in considering beauty and quality in new housing.

Hugh Petter, Director of ADAM Architecture and ADAM Urbanism, commented on the research reports that, “This is one of the most significant contributions to the debate about the housing crisis, placemaking and value published in recent years.  It is an exceptional piece of work and should be required reading for everyone involved in the built environment.   It is more rounded in its view than any previous review of this subject, and we must hope now that the Government listens carefully to the advice that Charlie Dugdale and his colleagues at Knight Frank have laid out with such clarity. 

We only have one chance to get things right, and this report provides a solid foundation that can be built upon, but if only everyone digests the evidence and then works together to overcome the issues which are many and various.”

Find the two reports compiled below:

Cost and Value: identifying the cost and value of well-designed development schemes  –  Knight Frank analyses the challenges that landowners face in delivering high-quality housing and makes recommendations to mitigate those challenges.

Building in Beauty: how to increase the design quality of schemes through the development process  –  Knight Frank looks at new housing developments from around the United Kingdom to identify if there is added value in cases where schemes are developed with quality as an explicit aim. The report also looks at value beyond the housing itself.

With thanks to ADAM Architecture

ADAM Architecture and Farrer & Co have sponsored an industry report that raises questions and highlights schemes where developers and land-owners have taken a quality-led approach to property development, leaving a legacy in the communities they are building and ultimately driving up capital values.

“What are modern, successful Community Developments and what can we learn from them as we seek to create better places?”

“The UK’s housing crisis is about more than just supply and demand. In a world that is evolving fast, it is also about the need for homes that reflect a changing society. This report explores how adopting a patient approach to placemaking can:

  • create beautiful places for people to live
  • deliver a higher volume of affordable homes
  • benefit the local economy
  • benefit the public purse
  • be positive for the environment
  • generate a higher return on investment”

The research was conducted by Future Places Studio

Download a pdf copy of the report here.

With thanks to ADAM Architecture.

“ADAM Urbanism and Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential property company, have published their research “Tomorrow’s Home”. This wide-ranging and comprehensive publication looks into emerging social trends in the 18 to 34 age group in England and Wales and how these will impact on the built environment. The research was conducted by Lily Bernheimer from Space Works Consulting.

“Covering topics from employment and tenure to travel and leisure, the report reveals how technology, education, wealth and personal relationships are changing the lifestyles of the up-and-coming generation. This age group, the ‘Millennials’, represent 25% of the population and their needs and wants are bound to have a profound impact on the built environment in the near future.

“As part of a number of significant findings, the report identifies a new ‘individual collectivism’, where city living, sharing and renting are on the increase; ‘downloadable lifestyles’, where the new generation will demand increased facilities in cities and smaller towns, ‘mega/micro commuting’, where new working conditions are already changing travel patterns; and suggests that we are seeing ‘the end of the dormitory suburb’. All this will lead to ‘new housing ladders’ which will transform our towns, cities and countryside.”

Read more and view an Executive Summary

With thanks to ADAM Architecture.

Research carried out by Claire Jamieson and Professor Robert Adam for ADAM Urbanism.

“This research project, originally intended to discover recent and emerging trends, begins with an attempt to develop a vocabulary and descriptive methodology. It has the capacity to be a stand-alone study that could have wider applications across the master planning and urban design disciplines.”

Published in URBAN DESIGN International, Identifying trends in master planning: A typological classification system.

Download a pdf copy of the article published in UDI

Download a pdf copy of the research summary document

With thanks to ADAM Architecture.

Research carried out by Claire Jamieson and Professor Robert Adam for ADAM Urbanism.

“This research project, originally intended to discover recent and emerging trends, begins with an attempt to develop a vocabulary and descriptive methodology. It has the capacity to be a stand-alone study that could have wider applications across the master planning and urban design disciplines.”

Published in URBAN DESIGN International, Identifying trends in master planning: A typological classification system.

Download a pdf copy of the article published in UDI

Download a pdf copy of the research summary document

With thanks to ADAM Architecture.

Research with Atelier 10 shows that Traditional buildings are more sustainable than the modernist alternative.

ADAM Architecture formed a consortium of house-builders, a planning consultant and Atelier 10, the leading environmental engineers, to provide a properly tested comparison between a largely glass-walled lightweight building and a traditional dense-walled building with punched window openings and traditional materials. The research demonstrates the clear relative benefits of the traditional building type as against the glass-wall type, and confirms what all environmental engineers know but most architects would rather ignore: that traditional buildings are the most sustainable type.

Download an Executive Summary of the research report

With thanks to ADAM Architecture.

The visual appearance of the built environment contributes to psychological health and influences subjective well-being. However, little is known on how residents perceive and experience the visual appearance of contemporary trends in architecture and urban design.

This paper evaluates environmental perceptions and affective appraisal of contemporary versus traditional styles in architecture and public space. A recently-developed research method in this field of study is employed: panel evaluations of 360-degree videos of real environments, viewed with mobile-based virtual reality platform. The examined urban spaces are streetscapes and public squares.

Results suggest that contemporary architectural styles – inspired by postmodernism and characterized by asymmetry, lack of ornamentation, and industrial appearance – are evaluated less positively than traditional styles – characterized by symmetry and ornamentation. Contemporary architecture scores lower in environmental perception than traditional architecture. This finding poses critical questions on current trends in architectural styles and subsequently on the liveability of new built environments. Further research is necessary to obtain a more in-depth understanding of how the detailed physical characteristics of architecture contribute to perceptions and emotional well-being.

“This study examined the physiological effects of touching wood with various coating with the palm of the hand on brain activity and autonomic nervous activity…The results indicated that tactile stimulation with uncoated wood calmed prefrontal cortex activity (vs. urethane finish and mirror finish), increased parasympathetic nervous activity (vs. vitreous finish, urethane finish, and mirror finish), and decreased heart rate (vs. mirror finish), demonstrating a physiological relaxation effect. Further, tactile stimulation with oil- and vitreous-finished wood calmed left prefrontal cortex activity and decreased heart rate relative to mirror-finished wood.”

With thanks to INTBAU USA.

“This ground-breaking study demonstrates the unique and valuable role that older, smaller buildings play in the development of sustainable cities. Building on statistical analysis of the built fabric of three major American cities, the research demonstrates that established neighbourhoods with a mix of older, smaller buildings perform better than districts with larger, newer structures when tested against a range of economic, social, and environmental outcome measures.”

With thanks to INTBAU USA

  • The built environment can influence social well-being.
  • Compact urban forms may increase satisfaction with personal relationships.
  • Shorter distances facilitate larger social networks and more frequent socializing.
  • Higher densities and ‘third places’ increase opportunities to meet new people.
  • Findings contribute to debates on quality of life and urban sustainability.

With thanks to INTBAU USA.

“A new study…finds that an array of energy savings in small commercial buildings could profitably yield more than $30 billion in annual cost savings and improved financial performance…The report defines elements and recommends key actions needed to realize energy savings across seven million business establishments operating in 4.4 million small buildings nationally.”

With thanks to INTBAU USA.

“This analysis…builds on previous research by examining multiple window improvement options, comparing them to replacement windows across multiple climate regions. This report…concludes that a number of existing window retrofit strategies come very close to the energy performance of high-performance replacement windows at a fraction of the cost. Saving Windows, Saving Money’s key findings offer homeowners, contractors, architects and others with compelling evidence of the merits of retrofitting windows as opposed to outright replacement.”

With thanks to INTBAU USA.

“This ground-breaking study…concludes that, when comparing buildings of equivalent size and function, building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction. The report’s key findings offer policy-makers, building owners, developers, architects and engineers compelling evidence of the merits of reusing existing buildings as opposed to tearing them down and building new.”

With thanks to INTBAU USA.

The world’s consumption of raw materials is set to nearly double by 2060 as the global economy expands and living standards rise, placing twice the pressure on the environment that we are seeing today, according to a new OECD report.

A preview of The Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060 sees global materials use rising to 167 Gigatons in 2060 from 90 Gigatons today as the world population soars to 10 billion people and average global income per capita rises to converge with the current OECD level of USD 40,000.

Without concrete actions to address these challenges, the projected increase in the extraction and processing of raw materials such as biomass, fossil fuels, metals and non-metallic minerals is likely to worsen pollution of air, water and soils, and contribute significantly to climate change. The increase comes despite a shift from manufacturing to service industries and continual improvements in manufacturing efficiency, which has lessened the amount of resources consumed for each unit of GDP. Without this, environmental pressures would be worse. The projection also takes account of flattening demand in China and other emerging economies as their infrastructure booms end.

The Journal of Urbanism is a multi-disciplinary journal that focuses on human settlement and its relation to the idea of sustainability, social justice and cultural understanding. It is concerned with the relative impact of design on environmental perception, urban liveability and the experience of space.

The journal addresses a wide range of urban concerns, and aims, by publishing research from a variety of theoretical, methodological and conceptual perspectives, to create an attitude of sustainability toward urban form.

The journal focuses on human settlement and its relationship to the idea of sustainability, social justice and cultural understanding. It is concerned with the relative impact of design on environmental perception, urban liveability and the experience of space. Co-founded and is co-edited by Prof Emily Talen of the University of Chicago and Dr Matthew Hardy of The Prince's Foundation, and published by Taylor & Francis.

A 64-page publication which features a range of specially-commissioned articles articulated by a range of industry pioneers and thought-leaders addressing issues around housing in the UK.

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

A joint report between the Prince’s Foundation and the University College of Estate Management which reveals a direct link between housing type and social benefits.

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

With a housing affordability crisis in the UK and pressure to build up to 300,000 homes a year, there is a real risk that the built legacy of this generation will be a country littered with soulless housing estates.

The obvious answer is to create popular development that delivers ‘walkable neighbourhoods’ with strong local identities, encouraging healthy lifestyles and minimal resource consumption. We intuitively know this is right, and yet somehow collectively lack the conviction to make it happen

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

The purpose of this report is to position the question of urban form and housing typology at the centre of the housing debate currently taking place. The key to London and other city’s future success is not only how much we build but what we build - quality must stand alongside quantity. The report seeks to explore the terms of the debate about the city’s housing: to establish clearly the nature of the housing problem facing the city and in response, to explore the viable contribution that mid-rise housing has to make to the needs of city residents - present and future.

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

Through the Prince’s Foundation Enquiry by Design (Ebd) process they have engaged with communities across the world, giving them a say in the planning process. The successful outcomes of these projects highlight the value of extensive community engagement, its direct relationship to the acceptance of new developments and their subsequent success in the market place.

This report presents evidence assembled by The Prince’s Foundation on three exemplar builds (Highbury Gardens, Islington, London; The Kingston Mills development, Bradford on Avon; and the Westoe Crown Village development in South Shields), demonstrating that sincere efforts to involve communities, whilst designing to a local context, can help developers attain planning approval and improve commercial viability.

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

This report outlines new models of investment that show how considerations of place, beauty, community and sustainability can add value to a development, more than paying for their implementation.

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

This guide is for non-specialists. It explains how to write a Conservation Statement and Conservation Management Plan.

Understanding and documenting why a historic building is important is key to its successful restoration and re-use. It is particularly valuable where a building is to undergo a change of use. If you wish to bring a historic building back into use, then this guide is for you

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

This report was commissioned by The Prince’s Foundation to help to add to the understanding of the financial implications of pursuing development with principles of beauty, sustainability and community in mind, and reviewing the more widely appreciated added–value that such development can bring

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

The Enquiry by Design (EbD) process is a planning tool that brings together key stakeholders to collaborate on a vision for a new or revived community. It was developed through a workshop facilitated by The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment. The EbD process brings key stakeholders together, to assess a complex range of design requirements for the development site, with every issue tested by being drawn

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

Our built environment and our natural environment belong together. Both should be protected and enhanced for the long-term benefit of the communities that depend on them. Settlements should be renewed, regenerated and cared for, and we should end the scandal of left-behind places, where derelict buildings and vandalised public spaces drive people away. New developments should be regenerative, enhancing their environment and adding to the health, sustainability and biodiversity of their context. For too long now we have been exploiting and spoiling our country. The time has come to enhance and care for it instead. Our recommendations are designed to ensure that we pass on to future generations an inheritance at least as good as the one we have received.

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

The BIMBY Housing Manual is designed so that community groups can say to developers, ‘we welcome your investment in our community, but we want you to respect our place and build something beautiful that actually improves where we live!’

The BIMBY Housing Toolkit is a simple and practical online tool which enables communities, organisations, Local Authorities and developers to collectively or individually create a regional BIMBY Housing Manual. It is specifically designed to give both certainty to house builders, who can be sure of their housing's popularity, whilst also granting security to the community and local authority that new building projects will tie in with local preferences and needs.

Using the BIMBY Toolkit, you will be able to directly influence the quality and beauty of new housing by developing a BIMBY Housing Manual for your area.

You will feel empowered to engage in the siting and design of new homes, by influencing the planning process in a positive, rather than negative way.

You will feel empowered to demand that any new homes planned in your area are well located and well designed, by influencing the planning process in a positive, rather than negative, way.

With thanks to The Prince’s Foundation.

Whether the process of urbanization is harnessed and managed, or allowed to fuel growing divides, will largely determine the future of inequality, says UN DESA’s World Social Report 2020. For the first time in history, more people now live in urban than in rural areas. And over the next three decades, global population growth is expected to take place almost exclusively in the world’s cities and towns. The total number of people living in cities is expected to grow from approximately 4.4 billion today to 6.7 billion in 2050.