What we do

We focus on how people think and feel about their homes and communities, and how that experience can be improved. We do this through: 

Research and Policy

The Quality of Life Framework

Practical projects

The Coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated to us all how important where we live is in determining our quality of life. This extends from how much space we have to what shops and services we can access within a short walk or drive from our house. We must therefore focus on what people need in the long term and ensure that we build with quality of life in mind. If we start asking the right questions now, then perhaps we can make something good come out of this.

Research: Quality of life at home

We commissioned Social Life and Kaizen Partnership to interview residents in a variety of homes and communities across the UK. We asked them what they think makes a good place to live so we could find out what’s important to people’s quality of life at home. This work carried on through lockdown with the help of in-depth interviews carried out over the phone and online, backed up by photographs and hand-drawn maps.

Research: community consultation

We are currently working on a new, data-driven model of community consultation post-Covid with the University of Reading and Commonplace.

Community Consultation for Quality of Life (CCQoL) will bring together the latest re research and best practice on how to engage and empower local communities through the planning process in the UK.

If you would like to get involved and lend your support to this project then contact us now.

Research: lockdown poll

We conducted a poll during the Coronavirus lockdown to find out how different groups had been affected. We discovered that young people; people living in towns and cities; and renters were most dissatisfied with their living conditions at this time…

Read more about it here.

Research: literature review

With the help of Publica, we reviewed studies, reports and policies that address the link between quality of life and the built environment. This review identifies the need for systemic change in both the public and private sectors. This includes changes in the way that government regulates the housing sector. It also identifies key themes relating to quality of life and the homes and communities in which we live. 

You can download a copy of the report here.

Policy: Our response to the Planning White Paper

While we believe the Planning White Paper offers complex and thoughtful solutions to longstanding and major problems, we have identified areas where greater detail or further thought are needed.

Overall, we would urge the Government to clarify just how local communities and local authorities are to be involved and supported through this process so we can change the UK housing model from one of short-term gain to long-term social, economic and environmental success.

Read more about it here.

The Quality of Life Framework

The Quality of Life Framework is a way of showing how our homes and communities affect our quality of life. It consists of six themes: nature, wonder, homes, movement, belonging and control. Each relates to a different aspect of people's experience. We are using this framework, developed in collaboration with URBED, to help people participate in the way their homes are created and cared for.

YourQOL: resident-led evaluation

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 Foundation is working with RealWorth and Commonplace to create a post-occupancy service, YourQOL.

The first site to be assessed is Grosvenor Group’s Barton Park in Oxfordshire, but we are looking for other partners to be involved.

This project will form a key element in wider research into how we can streamline the entire community consultation process.

If you are interested in being involved in this project then please contact us.

CCQOL: A new model for digital consultation

Community Consultation for Quality of Life (CCQoL) is a UK-wide project proposal to develop a digital consultation platform that collects information on an ongoing basis about what communities want from their places (social value). It will use co-created maps as the basis of data gathering building on the work of the Mapping Eco Social Assets project.

Carefully developed, longterm engagement will facilitate greater inclusion across a variety of community stakeholders, providing a more accurate picture than that developed through current, often perfunctory and episodic consultation processes. The aim of CCQoL is to join up consultation activity around Local Development Planning, Planning Consultations (currently under threat in England) and the Post Occupancy Evaluation of places that almost never happens but which is urgently needed to understand what works in placemaking, particularly in the light of the Climate Change Emergency. CCQoL has backing from government departments across the UK (including MHCLG) as well as a range of industry organisations. It is currently under consideration by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the outcome will be known in March 2021.

To develop the CCQoL project, the Quality of Life Foundation (QoLF) is collaborating with the University of Reading and Commonplace, the leading online community engagement platform for places.