Design watchdog says cemeteries need to be designed for the living not the dead

CABE is calling on local authorities to include cemeteries in their green space strategies to make them more accessible to the public.

It says a lack of design and planning has meant these green spaces have been under used.

Credit: Manuel MC

It wants finance to be allocated to the maintenance and landscaping of burial grounds as well as visitor facilities and designated walkways to be provided.

Sarah Gaventa, director of CABE Space, said: “Cemeteries should not be considered solely as resting places for the dead, they should be designed with the living in mind too. Every local authority should have them in their green space strategy and ensure that their full value is realised.”

The organisation says that cemeteries can account for up to half of all green open space in some local authorities, but says there is little co-ordination in the running of them.

In Europe, cemetery commissions have been undertaken by architects including David Chipperfield at Venice’s San Michele cemetery and Enric Miralles’ Igualada cemetery in Barcelona. In England, there has been no equivalent commission since Sir Edwin Lutyens.