6. How well is inequality being addressed?
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What success would mean
“We will be a society free from inequality and discrimination, striving for greater equality of opportunity for all, actively opposing and challenging racism.”
“We will be healthy and fulfilled – through living in good housing, with wide opportunities to develop as individuals and communities, through access to services, good quality food, green space and cultural, sporting and leisure activities.”
London Sustainable Development Commission1
Addressing inequality is good for...
Healthy, well supported people – health and wealth are inextricably linked. Higher incomes lead to a higher health status and every socioeconomic increase will result in a health improvement. It is widely agreed that socioeconomic disadvantage comes before poor health, so it is usually the case that income generates health in the first instance.2
Examples of Relevant National Indicators:
NI119: Self-reported measure of people's overall health and well-being.
NI162: Number of entry level qualifications in numeracy achieved.
NI152: Working age people on out of work benefits.
Tackling environmental inequalities on the Mark’s Gate Estate
What is it?
How does it work?
Ambassador recruitment -community ambassadors were recruited by London Sustainability Exchange and trained in the use map-based interviews by LSx and project partner London 21 as a method of identifying priorities in the area.
Data collection - more than 100 residents were surveyed. A discussion at the Marks Gate Agenda 21 group informed the choice of categories for the data collection, which included a) perceptions, b) safety and c) community facilities.
Creation of area maps - over 4 weeks, the ambassadors used A3 maps of the area to ask residents to highlight areas of concern/interest regarding each category, and provide a brief explanation of specific issues or suggestions for improvement.
Presentation of maps - the results from the map-based interviews were presented at a Local Agenda 21 and neighbourhood management meeting.
Action plan - an action plan was also produced to highlight which issues were being addressed and which remained outstanding.
Taking it forward - the outstanding actions were subsequently incorporated into the Neighbourhood Management Plan for the area and contributed to local LSP/LAA processes.
What are the main impacts?
Addressing inequality - this project has highlighted aspects of environmental inequality (such as poor transport links and poor access to safe and clean public spaces) and given residents an opportunity to articulate how these affect their quality of life to local service providers.
More responsible, strong and cohesive communities – by building a sense that speaking up and giving time to solving problems in your local community is worth the effort.
Environmental sustainability – ambassadors and residents were encouraged to take personal responsibility for reducing waste and using energy and water wisely.
For more information, contact:
London Sustainability Exchange
T: 0207 234 9402
1. London Sustainable Development Commission Framework
2. Lynch, et al, 2004. Is Income Inequality a Determinant of Population Health? Part 1. A Systematic Review. Milbank Quarterly. Vol 82 (1)
3. London Health Commission, 2006. Sustainable Local Economies for Health project (SLEHP).
4. Joseph Rowntree Foundation