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Quality of Life Mapping is a map-based approach to community engagement. It takes place online and face-to-face through community spaces, pop-ups and community spaces called urban rooms, and is combined with local and national data.

Our first project is with Harlow & Gilston Garden Town and is funded through the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Proptech 2 fund. Harlow & Gilston Garden Town will create exciting new communities in Harlow with many new homes. It will support regeneration of the Town Centre and provide new job opportunities, including the arrival of Public Health England’s new life-sciences facility.

Our role is to create an overview of what local people value, need and fear, based on a series of conversations with individuals and groups, backed up by the latest available local and national data.

The project was born out of the CCQOL (Community Consultation for Quality of Life) project, with pilots in Reading, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

Do you want to know what residents think and feel about where they live?

Crucial to making wellbeing central to the way we create and care for our homes and communities is a more active and long-lasting dialogue with communities and residents throughout the development process. An important missing element is feedback from residents about how good (or otherwise) their homes and neighbourhoods are. For example:

  • Do you feel safe in your neighbourhood?
  • Do you have an opportunity to connect with nature?
  • Is it safe for children to play outside?

The Quality of Life Strategy embeds quality of life as a critical objective in each project as early as possible, then continues the process post-occupancy through the lived experience of residents and the surrounding community.

Part social value statement, part design review, it is a blueprint for improving people’s long-term quality of life through the way homes and communities are created and cared for. It provides developers and local authorities with a practical toolkit of tangible actions for wellbeing with an interdisciplinary approach that harnesses expertise in social value, urban design and environmental sustainability.

To learn more about how to raise wellbeing and quality of life through the built environment, we are now running training sessions for local authorities. Involving specialists from planning and public health, these sessions give a strategic approach to making health and wellbeing a critical objective in your work.

If you would like to know more then email Warren Lever at warren@qolf.org.