The Quality of Life Foundation has today launched a major new publication – the Quality of Life Framework – which represents the culmination of over a year’s worth of research, discussions and engagement with communities, politicians and wider industry stakeholders to understand how the built environment can improve our physical, social and mental wellbeing.
Despite over 170 thousand new homes having been developed in 20191, far too many are being built without people’s long-term quality of life in mind, resulting in developments that are of poor quality, badly designed or built in the wrong place.
An estimated 10 million people are living in 4.3 million poor-quality homes2, resulting in poor health and a reduced quality of life, with the cost of non-decent homes in England costing the NHS around £1.4 billion per annum3. The COVID-19 pandemic and various lockdowns have thrown this issue into sharp relief, with many suffering from living and/or working in cramped accommodation, with little or no access to outdoor space.
Written in partnership with the award-winning design and research consultancy URBED, who also recently published the new National Design Code, the Quality of Life Foundation’s Framework addresses the changes that can be made across the development industry to ensure that homes are acquired, planned, constructed and managed to actively provide a better quality of life for everyone.
It brings together all of the Foundation’s work to date into six overriding themes; Control, Health, Nature, Wonder, Movement and Belonging. Positioned around a series of cases studies, the Framework offers practical steps to how communities, developers and their designers, and local authorities can create better places for people to live by placing greater emphasis on health and wellbeing.
The Foundation will be hosting a panel event with a highly influential set of policy makers, CEOs and thinkers discussing how the Framework can be put into action and act as a gateway for further positive change in the way we plan and build new places. It will take place on the 4th March at 4pm, and you can sign up here.
The Quality of Life Foundation was set up in 2019 to raise people’s quality of life by making wellbeing central to the way we create and care for our homes and communities. Working across the sector, we want to create change in the way the housing industry acquires, plans, builds and manages new homes and communities to improve people’s physical, social and mental wellbeing.
Professor Sadie Morgan OBE, Founding Director of The Quality of Life Foundation, said: “This Framework comes at a pivotal moment for the industry and the UK as a whole. COVID-19 has brought the need for good quality housing into sharp focus and has demonstrated the importance of building resilient communities.
Paired with the upcoming planning reforms, it is imperative that there is a fundamental reassessment of how we think about the built environment and its relationship with our overall health and wellbeing. As a society, we should be coming together to ensure that no one has poor health just because of the house they live in. This Framework sets the precedent for future schemes by exploring just how we can do that.”
Lord Taylor of Goss Moor on The Quality of Life Framework, said: “The Quality of Life Framework is exactly what is needed for creating wonderful and sustainable new communities, a usable tool kit for everyone thinking about quality placemaking. It brings together in one easily accessible document simple prompts to guide exemplary development, without being prescriptive. These are the questions and challenges all of us should be thinking about to nurture successful and people focused sustainable development – in one short, simple, easy to use set of building blocks.”
Dan Labbad, CEO of The Crown Estate on The Quality of Life Framework, said: “The QoLF Framework comes at a moment when everyone is re-evaluating what is important to them, especially where we live and how we work. As an industry, we also need to reflect on this as we enter a new era for the nation. As we consider the principles which will guide the future of development and regeneration, we need to assess how we ensure the wellbeing of our people and our communities, and what it means to be sustainable.”