Redrow pioneers social value calculator to reveal the impact of healthy, friendly communities

18th January 2019

Living in a well-designed community, having good neighbours who welcome new residents, and who speak to each other on a regular basis, can add just over £34million [1] worth of social value to a community, according to our latest research into communities and social value.

Our research is based on our innovative new social value calculator – formulated with research consultancy Simetrica, the leading consultancy in social impact analysis. This is the first time research of this nature has been carried out to measure multiple aspects of home building and community creation and focused on social value, a concept supported strongly by the Government, which is about quality of life or wellbeing of current and future generations.

Our social value calculator found that in Redrow communities where new residents feel welcomed £11.5million of social value is generated and where 77% of residents talk regularly to neighbours £8.8million of social value is added. This means the total social value of the ‘good neighbour effect’ alone, or social capital as it’s sometimes referred to, is worth £20.3million. [2]

We commissioned this ground-breaking work to develop a clearer, more holistic perspective on social value, which we can use to inform our strategic approach to placemaking design and community planning. Loneliness is having a more profound effect than ever on quality of life and an increasing number of people live on their own in the UK; there are 1.1million more people living alone today than 20 years ago, according to ONS statistics.

Our findings provide clear evidence that improvements in people’s wellbeing are associated with high quality homes and well-designed, healthy, green places. This strongly supports principles embedded in the revisedNational Planning Policy Framework which is striving to ensure that new homes and places embody high standards of quality and design.

Table showing top 6 social values in a Redrow community of 250 homes. Source: Redrow. 

 

Our research highlighted that a Redrow development generates 10% more social value than an industry standard housing development.Whilst this additional social value may only apply to Redrow communities, all the features Redrow incorporates to achieve these outcomes could be adopted on a more consistent industry-wide basis to ensure that new communities are having the greatest possible positive impact on residents’ lives.

Rob Macdiarmid, Group Sustainability Director at Redrow, comments: “Our social value calculator shows that well-designed and friendly developments can add more than £34million of social value to communities. Our previous research, which surveyed 2,000 consumers, shows that 87% of people want to be part of a community, and how we build the streetscape, integrate community features and encourage people to interact with ease, can all make a huge difference.

“Physical features in the community like access to green, open spaces and proximity to pubs and restaurants significantly enrich people’s lives and add real social value as our new calculator shows – opening up opportunities to leisure activities and providing important places to meet friends, family and other residents.

“We believe housebuilders have a duty to not only deliver beautiful, high-quality homes but also places that help residents make important and meaningful social connections that enhance the quality of their lives.”

[1] Social value presented for a typical 250 home Redrow development, present value over 25 years.

[2] Social value in this instance is based on a subjective well-being valuation which places a monetised value on the change in well-being caused by the change in the outcome. In this case having friendly neighbours!

Redrow’s full report and recommendations can be found here.