HC Deb 08 March 1966 vol 725 cc466-7W
Mr. Ogden

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will make a statement about arrangements for research in the environmental field.

Mr. Crossman

New arrangements are urgently needed to give an impetus to research in the environmental field. The tasks of reshaping existing towns, building new cities and meeting the needs of a fast-growing, mobile population, all demand a vigorous, comprehensive and sustained research programme. They also require a multi-disciplinary research effort. This is a field in which, because of our failure in the past to sponsor research, we lack much of the data needed for sound policy decisions.

It has been decided, therefore, to establish a Centre for Environmental Studies as a focal point where practitioners and researchers, both at home and abroad, can discuss problems and settle research needs. The Centre will also be an important channel through which research contracts can be placed with universities and institutes.

The Centre will be established as an independent educational Trust. It is intended that it should be financed partly out of money voted by Parliament and partly from outside sources. In this connection, the Ford Foundation have very generously agreed to make a substantial donation to the Centre over the next five years.

Lord Llewelyn-Davies, Professor of Architecture in the University of London, has accepted an invitation to become Chairman of the governing body of the Centre. From my knowledge of him he will bring to this task the qualities of imagination, knowledge and drive that are essential if a worthwhile research programme is to be established in this field.

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