In 1998 Richard Rogers was invited to chair a Government Task Force charged with translating sustainable urban development principles into strategic advice for planning authorities in England.
The Urban Task Force was faced with 3 specific urban challenges:
- decline of regional inner-city areas and communities.
- an official prediction of a requirement for 4 million additional households.
- suburban sprawl consuming greenfield sites at an alarming rate, causing social and economic decline within inner-city areas.
The mission statement of the Urban Task Force was 'To identify causes of urban decline, to recommend solutions that will bring people back into our cities and to establish a vision for urban regeneration based on the principles of:
- design excellence.
- social well-being.
- environmental responsibility.
- within a viable economic and legislative framework.'
The result, published in 1999 and making over 100 recommendations, was the report 'Towards an Urban Renaissance: the final report of the Urban Task Force'. The executive summary of this report is available to download.
Six years on, the Urban Task force has come together again to write the report 'Towards a Strong Urban Renaissance'. Published in November 2005 its aim is to stimulate further public debate, encourage new thinking and build on the significant action prompted by the original report.
The work of the Urban Task force is relevant to the RSA projects: RSA Inclusive Design Resource and RSA Commission on Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy, within the RSA Manifesto challenge : Fostering Resilient Communities.