I welcome the Sustainable Development Commission “Mainstreaming Sustainable Regeneration” report as a useful contribution to bringing sustainable development principles into regeneration. Since the report was published in 2003, the Department has continued to embed sustainable development principles into its regeneration work. Examples of this work include:
Government's “Together We Can” initiative, to enable people to engage with public bodies and influence the decisions that affect their communities;
Establishing the Academy for Sustainable Communities to improve the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to deliver sustainable communities;
Community renewal programmes like neighbourhood management and the Liveability Fund, which have helped co-ordinate and reshape environmental services, particularly in deprived areas;
Establishing CABE Space, which has helped local authorities take a strategic approach and champion a renaissance in urban green spaces;
The introduction of local area agreements as a vehicle through which many initiatives relating to sustainable communities, including regeneration, can be addressed in a joined up way by Government and local partners.
Driving forward the sustainability of housing through such measures as the new Part L of the Building Regulations and the forthcoming introduction of the Code for Sustainable Homes;
Reforms to the planning system, which put sustainable development at the heart of planning, both via legislation and planning guidance.