Policy Department

RIBA Policy

The RIBA analyses and seeks to inform and influence government policy to help create better buildings and communities. We develop evidence to prove the value and impact of good design, and develop policy solutions and new initiatives to improve the built environment.

Our core priorities include:

  • Housing and communities
  • Planning and localism
  • Sustainability
  • Public procurement models
  • Urban futures

We also work with government in other important areas including conversation and heritage, counter-terrorism, construction strategy, health and education.

Recent achievements


The RIBA initiated and supported an independent inquiry into how Britain can build more and better homes, the Future Homes Commission. The Commission’s report, Building the Homes and Communities Britain Needs, received widespread support including endorsements from the Housing Minister Mark Prisk, Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey and key industry bodies. The DCLG has taken one of the recommendations forward, and the RIBA is working with partners on some of the others.

Planning and localism

The RIBA informed Ministers directly during the recent review of national planning policy, and consulted members to share their expertise and advice with government. The following amendments were made to the National Planning Policy Framework as a result of the RIBA's advice to government:

  • A strengthening of policy on design, lending greater weight to the advice of design review panels.
  • Enshrining high-quality design as a core planning principle.
  • Strengthening of provisions to encourage the development of brownfield sites.
  • Strengthening of the provisions on heritage.

Building Futures

The RIBA's in-house think tank, Building Futures, stimulates and facilitates discussion on the future of the built environment and its impact on society. Working with an interdisciplinary steering group of experts, we hold debates and publish provocative reports and think pieces. Recent debates have included high profile speakers from Centre for Cities, LFA and Open City and experts such as Tony Travers, Ros Altman (Director General of Saga), and Clive Dutton OBE. The think piece series have been read by over 8,000 people.

Further successes

For a summary of the RIBA’s key achievements in 2012, including further work in sustainability and procurement, please read our Influencing Policy update.