Nicola Bacon, the Founding Director of Social Life, has spent the past year talking to Londoners about social infrastructure: the spaces, places and supports that underpin our local social life. She shows how crucial this “social glue” has proved to the wellbeing and resilience of people across the capital.

Social infrastructure — the spaces, places and supports that underpin our local social life — is central to our quality of life. It is our social glue. When we are meeting our friends in a café, going to a class at a community centre, taking part in a tenants and residents…


By Sadie Morgan 2 March 2021

First published in Building

Too many homes are still being built without people’s health and wellbeing in mind. We must change that, says Sadie Morgan

The snow has melted and spring is in the air. Primroses, crocuses and daffodils are finally showing their heads and, with all this new life, some of the optimism and hope that has been in short supply at times during this cruel, cold winter returns.

It is with optimism and hope that I am pleased and proud to announce the launch of the Quality of Life Framework, an initiative…


The launch of the Quality of Life Framework took place Thursday 4th March 2021 and saw a stellar list of speakers discuss the newly launched Quality of Life Framework and how it might make a change to how we create and care for our homes and communities. Hosting the event was the Chair of the Quality of Life Foundation, Professor Sadie Morgan, OBE; with the Framework’s principle author, David Rudlin of URBED; Deborah Cadman, CEO of West Midlands Combined Authority; Dan Labbad, CEO of the Crown Estate; and the economist, Bridget Rosewell, CBE.

You can watch the event again here


We have 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 2019 1, 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…


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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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…

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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