The new body will take on the design review function of the Royal Fine Arts Commission, but with a much wider and more proactive
remit, including funding and promotional work at the national and
'At last it looks like we are going to have the national champion
for British architecture that we have needed for so long. I commend
Chris Smith on his decision. What is now important is that the
government consults widely on how the new body should be set up and
how it should carry out its functions. We only get one shot at this
and we have to get it right.
'As chairman of the urban task force, one of the main priorities for
me is to ensure that the new body places urban design at the heart of
the government's urban regeneration agenda. It will have to work
closely with the regional development agencies, housing developers,
local authorities and social housing providers, in a collective
national effort to raise design standards in our towns and cities.'