Manchester has some outstanding examples of excellence in developing new residential property but much of it, particularly from the volume housebuilders struggles to be even mediocre.
Tomorrow (4 October) is the residential property awards ceremony organised by the Manchester Evening News and supported by the City Council because it's important for the city to drive up standards. Well-designed houses and flats with well-designed space around them help to create strong, sustainable communities where people want to live, study and invest.
I'm keen to see developers pay more attention to green issues, particularly around waste disposal and recycling, heating and water management, and use of materials. I recently visited Stockholm, where I saw a new residential quarter built on former docks and brownfield land. Its environmental standards are ahead already of what this country is planning in 10 years time, and includes a remarkable vacuum system which sucked rubbish away from each house. I'd love to see a similar scheme in a Manchester property development, I'd love to see us match those standards, and as a council we should be doing what we can to encourage that.