The Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) has enthusiastically welcomed the launch of the ‘Better Placed’ design policy that was released by the NSW state government last week.

“The new policy will help to deliver a higher quality of new development and great places as we meet the challenges of an increasing population,” said the head of the Institute’s NSW chapter, Andrew Nimmo.

“Investing in the design process at the early stage of projects saves time and cost and leads to more responsive, resilient, healthy, integrated and equitable precincts, towns and cities,” he says.

‘Better Placed’, which focuses on seven broad design objectives - Contextual, Sustainable, Equitable, Enjoyable, Functional, Value-creating and Distinctive, has been formulated to establish the framework for assessing new projects as part of the design review process, according to Planning NSW.

“The policy is a significant achievement by the Government Architect NSW following the office’s move to the planning portfolio and its strategic focus on design as the key to transforming and improving the NSW built environment,” says Nimmo.

“Our members are ready to work with the government to help ensure that the ambitions of this policy are fully and properly realised,” he says.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the AIA, Jennifer Cunich, the ‘Better Placed’ policy now needs to be adopted by the other state and territory governments to ensure there is a stronger focus on better long-term and more sustainable solutions across the built environment nationwide.

“The Institute would like to see similar quality-based policy throughout the country, as we believe that good design yields a dividend for all stakeholders, that is returned not just in the immediate term, but over the lifetime of a well-designed and delivered built environment,” she says.