Maintaining high quality public space

The quality of the local environment is a key element in what makes somewhere a good place to live. Whether a place looks clean, tidy and pleasant can affect property prices, economic investment and health, and linked to this, there is evidence that it is a key element in how satisfied people are with their neighbourhood.

Lessons Learned

In the case of regenerated neighbourhoods residents have often prioritised the need for safer, cleaner and greener neighbourhoods. Stewardship organisations have had to tackle these issues first before being able to work with residents on the broader issues of aspiration and employment.

See: Castle Vale

Questions to consider:

  • How will you go about maintaining a good quality residential environment and public realm while building is taking place?
  • Which partners will you involve in keeping the place clean and tidy?
  • How will your stewardshipGlossary: refers, in this context, to the ongoing process of managing, maintaining and tending a community approach maintain environmental quality into the long term?
  • How will you encourage residents to play their part?
  • How will you encourage respect for and pride in the place?

Maintaining a good quality local environment from the beginning will be important for the new settlements. Ongoing building programmes throughout the early years can give a place a messy and unfinished appearance and will present an additional challenge to those involved in developing and managing the community in the longer term. However, there is scope for planning well ahead and for tackling the issue from many angles in order to maintain a good quality environment both in the early days and as the new community matures.

Once a new community has been developed and residents have moved in the quality of public spaces will affect how satisfied local people are with their neighbourhood. Many neighbourhood managementGlossary: is a process of coordinating public service delivery at a local level initiatives in existing neighbourhoods have often found that residents' top priority is for a safer, cleaner and greener neighbourhood. The government's cleaner, safer, greener website also acknowledges the link between poor environmental quality and other problems for communities.

There is a clear continuum from litter to more serious environmental crime. Left unchecked, dirty streets and neighbourhoods affect the perception of the local community which can lead to anti-social behaviour and eventually serious crime.

Further Reading

Elements within this ingredent:

1. Roles and responsibility for maintaining public space

It is the responsibility of local authorities to maintain and deliver improvements to public spaces on the ground. Their role includes developing a strategic approach across their area to establish standards, find efficient and effective ways of spending money and to manage performance.

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2. Measures of success

In many areas environmental quality is a priority issue.

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