Create Streets

Create Streets is a social enterprise founded in 2013 which exists to help solve the housing crisis and to help communities and developers create beautiful street-based places of sufficient density that will be popular with the wider community, are likely to be correlated with good wellbeing outcomes and which are likely to prove good long term investments based on the historical data of value appreciation and maintenance costs.

Our goal is to make it easier to develop sustainable, high density, beautiful, street-based economically and socially successful developments with strong local support and which residents will love for generations. Over the next fifteen years we are also determined to dramatically improve the UK planning system so that it better delivers what people like and therefore helps deliver more new homes.

Nicholas Boys Smith set up Create Streets in 2013 out of frustration with the low quality of too much recent development and of irrational decision-making. We research links between urban form and wellbeing, health, sustainability, value and popularity. We advise communities, landowners, councils and developers. We lobby for necessary policy change. And we help communities and long-term investors develop exemplar schemes. In particular we are involved in community engagement, creating neighbourhood plans, community-led design, town centre strategies, masterplanning and urban design. All of these projects are guided by our (amongst others) research into the links between the built environment and wellbeing and value.

In our first six years, and on an initially very modest budget, Create Streets has already managed to have a significant impact on British planning policy and the wider debate as well as helping many communities, councils and landowners make the case for and start to achieve better and more popular development.

Amongst our key success is the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which gives a new centrality to design, to early engagement with residents and design codes. From our first publication some of our key suggested policies, process and priorities are now at the very heart of the English planning system. Nicholas is also currently serving as co-chair of the Government’s Building Better Building Beautiful Commission.

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