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A Community Right to Beauty - new ResPublica Green Paper, supported by Ecclesiastical

Giving communities the power to shape, enhance and create beautiful places, developments and spaces.

The ResPublica Trust is an independent non-partisan think tank based in Westminster who seek to tackle poverty through “virtuous habits in public policy”. They were very influential in the The Big Society concept and have published several high profile policy concepts.

In its latest Green Paper, as Heritage insurance specialists Ecclesiastical has joined forces with ResPublica, the National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Atlantic Gateway Parklands, the Woodland Trust, Hastoe Housing Association and Civic Voice – to argue for a transformative new right: a Community Right to beauty.

Helping raise awareness and shape policy

Ecclesiastical’s participation in this Right to Beauty project aims to help raise the national consciousness on the issues related to heritage preservation and maintenance, and are in line with our approach as a thought-leader in the heritage sector.

This is the first project under this initiative and positions us as one of a small consortium of heritage influencers, stakeholders, policy makers and academics that together are helping shape potential new government policy ideas for local heritage and ‘beauty’ conservation.

The paper argues that beauty, far from being an abstract and intangible term with no social and economic use, is at its heart a democratic concept, and as such should be discerned, identified and co-created from the bottom up.

Benefits of beauty

Polling conducted for the paper by Ipsos MORI found that those who identify their area as a beautiful place to live, feel healthier, both physically and mentally, and experience lower crime rates. And this is backed up by more substantive research.

The research also shows that people’s propensity to identify their local area as beautiful varies with income; the cost of ugliness is high, and it will only get worse if we don’t seek to address it.

The paper argues for a genuine place-based planning policy; for a co-creation of beautiful places between neighbourhoods and local actors; and for the introduction of a local policy infrastructure that will truly enable community-led decision-making to take place.

To find out more visit the ResPublica microsite.

Listen to coverage on BBC Radio 4

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