Category Archives: What Makes a Good Neighbourhood?

What makes a good neighbourhood?

Discussion of ‘Neighbourhood Well Being’ gravitates around local empowerment and adequacy of investment, but that there is a clear physical environmental link too. Whilst Neighbourhood Planning is in itself a form of local empowerment, it can also facilitate the delivery of some of the key elements of good neighbourhoods:  access to services and facilities, a physical structure that promotes neighbourliness, ease of maintenance, community safety, and good design.

A conceptual statement to guide the NDP policies could therefore be as follows:

Access to Facilities
✓   Essential every-day facilities and services (eg Shop, café, post-box) within 5 to 10 minutes walking distance
✓   Health, educational, financial (ATM) and well-being facilities accessible on foot/bike or short bus trip.
✓   Formal gathering places such as community halls within 20 minutes walking distance
✓   Cycle routes and parking spaces
✓   Clear signage
✓   Disabled Parking spaces
✓   Adequate disabled access
✓   Informal gathering and play spaces within the public realm
✓   Small open performance spaces
✓   Public wifi
✓   Seating
✓   Trees and planting
✓   Urban allotment opportunities
✓   Simple recycling facilities
Maintenance and Cleansing
✓   Well maintained buildings and street scene furniture
✓   Clean and visible playspaces
✓   Excellent street cleansing
✓   Minimal dereliction, underutilised and under maintained spaces and places
✓   Good air quality
Community Safety
✓ ‘  Design out crime’ – good visibility, no isolated spaces,
✓   Balance activities which may be crime generators such as bars, night time uses, restaurants and entertainment venues in terms of scale, size and local context
✓   CCTV as necessary,
✓   Well defined and purposeful open spaces.
✓   Human Scale – walkable, eye-level, tactile, pleasant smelling, quiet.
✓   Distinctive and unified design that gives a ‘sense of place’
✓   Use of colour and texture to give definition
✓   Respecting scale, height, volume, site coverage and distance from and effect upon, adjacent buildings;
✓   Equality Act 2010 (DDA) compliant
✓   Community Spirit
✓    Spaces that support good ‘Social Capital’ – networks that people are involved in and engaged with others in informal, social activities; membership of groups and associations

More discussion is in the attached note: