chapter  1
18 Pages

The Nature of Environmental Auditing

This chapter examines aesthetics and conservation in the built environment, but the approach and structure of the audit checklists could easily be adapted to landscape and countryside. It explains about a cultural climate of aesthetic pluralism, perhaps a reaction against the flawed certainties of modernism. This pluralism is expressed in a diversity of approach to urban art and architectural design: modernism, post modernism, high tech, neoclassicism, neo-vernacular, deconstructivism are only the main branches of aesthetic expression in the built environment. The Civic Trust in the 60s and 70s produced lists of conservation areas by local authority districts, and produced blacklists of those authorities which had not designated a single conservation area. The record of designation of conservation areas and implementation of conservation policies in the built environment reveals considerable disparities between the approaches of different local authorities. The Annual Reports of the Historic Buildings Council, prior to its transformation to English Heritage, were also a source of monitoring progress.