Good Foundations

Fascinating report by New Economics Foundation

How do buildings affect our well-being? And what impact do they have on the environment? This report, commissioned by the Happold Trust, explores how architects, engineers, planners and policymakers can ensure that new development projects work for people and the planet.

This report offers new insights into the connection between people’s well-being – how people experience their lives – and the built environment which surrounds them, and to consider how better account could be given to these linkages through policy development and professional practice. More particularly, it considers why a focus on what ought to be shared outcomes – creating places and spaces where people can enjoy a good life now and in the future – is often abandoned in the face of pursuing short-term financial returns on investment.

This report is targeted at those involved in the day-to-day creation of urban neighbourhoods and places – master planners, designers, developers, architects, engineers – as well as at local authorities and their partners who play a strategic leadership role with regard to setting the vision and frameworks which guide local action. Our approach has been to use research findings exploring the links between the built environment, regeneration and renewal activity, and people’s well-being, to inform practical suggestions for approaching development projects in a different way. The aim has not been to provide definitive solutions, but to stimulate new thinking and open up debate.

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