Roland Karthaus of Matter Architecture asks whether we can build housing that resolves people’s desire for independence and their need to belong, particularly with regard to ‘intergenerational’ housing.

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A sense of belonging is a deep human need, linking us to other people and the places we inhabit. Yet we also prize our independence; our ability to move freely and not be tied to one place throughout our lives. COVID has brought these potentially contrasting desires into sharp focus, as we find support through our communities during lockdown, whilst simultaneously suffering a lack of freedom, highlighting its importance.

Historically, belonging and…

One of the few bright spots in the past year has been Shit Planning, an anonymous Twitter account that offers a “celebration of all the Shit Stuff imposed on our environment”. As we exit one of the shittiest years ever, we thought we would talk to Shit Planning about the year just gone and what’s ahead.

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Would you prefer to be called Shit Planning? Mr or Mrs Planning? S.P.?

Shit Planning is fine.

We love your no-nonsense approach to all the Shit Stuff imposed on our environment. …

David Cope, a Trustee of the National Park City Foundation, outlines how the UK city dwellers might benefit from National Park Cities.

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If there is one thing we’ve all learnt about in 2020, it is more about our homes and neighbourhoods. Covid restrictions have meant more time at home, living locally and different daily routines. And whether you’ve loved that experience or hated it, it really matters.

Quality of Life Foundation research during the spring of 2020 showed that urban dwellers were less satisfied with their homes than those in the suburbs or rural areas. The Country Land and Business…

Community life — our relationship with the people living in our neighbourhoods — is crucial to our health and wellbeing. Community underlines the link between the built environment and quality of life, and it is intimately connected to the design and infrastructure of the buildings around us.

Originally Published in Property Week, 30th October 2020

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Sadie Morgan

That is what we discovered in our nationwide ‘Quality of life at home’ study of what people think about where they live, which was undertaken before and during lockdown.

Community was cited as the most important factor in people’s quality of life pre-lockdown…

We speak to Councillor Matthew Brown, leader of Preston City Council, about the city’s response to the pandemic, his view of the planning white paper, and how the “Preston Model” might show how a new form of active localism can foster greater resilience in the years ahead.

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Councillor Matthew Brown has no time to mess about. When we spoke with him, after weeks of negotiations, the government had just imposed tier 3 restrictions on the Lancashire region.

His official response was that he was “disappointed” that government had not accepted a number of significant public health asks or agreed levels…

Flora Samuel is professor of architecture in the built environment at the University of Reading’s new School of Architecture, and a Quality of Life Foundation board member. Here, she writes about what effect the pandemic might have on the government’s new planning white paper.

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How do we build more resilience in our communities? This is something I’ve been pondering over the past couple of months.

Between June and September 2020, before the second wave of lockdowns, I undertook a series of phone calls with a range of stakeholders on behalf of the UK Centre for Collaborative Housing Evidence (CACHE) to…

Ben Channon, Head of Wellbeing at Assael Architecture and author of Happy by Design explains what the current research can tell us about what makes a healthy home.

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The stress of adapting to the Covid-19 lockdown has undoubtedly had an impact on many people’s mental health and wellbeing.

It has also brought into sharp focus how the design of our homes can directly shape our happiness, with many of us cooped up in the same space for living, working and playing for several months. …

Board member Jonny Anstead writes how a sense of control over local buildings and places is crucial for people’s quality of life in Architects’ Journal.

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Lockdown is easing, ending a long period in which we’ve faced unprecedented curbs to personal freedoms we’ve long taken for granted. For four months, all of us have had significantly less control over most spheres of our lives.

At a personal level we’ve faced severe restrictions on where we go and who we spend time with, and in our professional lives many have been affected by furlough, redundancy or obligations around home schooling that have…

Our recent panel discussion focused on how connection to nature is vital to our wellbeing. You can read an account of the discussion below.

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In the access to nature panel discussion, garden designer and Gardeners’ Question Time regular, Matthew Wilson, chaired a panel that also included Louise Wyman, Strategic Director, Manchester City Council; Louise Clarke Head of Sustainable Places at Berkeley Group and Loyd Grossman, Chairman of Royal Parks.

Noting how distinct different people’s experiences of lockdown had been, Matthew Wilson first asked if what are the physical and mental benefits of bringing nature into the built environment might be…

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Tony Pidgley CBE, 1947–2020

It is with great sadness that we heard of the death of Tony Pidgley CBE, Berkeley Group’s founder and Chairman. Tony was instrumental in the creation of the Quality of Life Foundation. His commitment to and belief in people and communities will be the lasting legacy of a remarkable life.

The Quality of Life Foundation came about after a series of conversations between Tony and Sadie Morgan. Tony identified the need for an organisation that would champion people and communities, and this chimed with Sadie’s increasing frustrated with the pace and focus of change in the housing sector. …

The Quality of Life Foundation

Making wellbeing central to the way we create and care for our homes and communities. www.qolf.org

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