3. How responsible, strong and cohesive are local communities?
The page is part of an E-resource for LSx's Sustainability Matrix tool. For more information please click here.
What success would mean
“As citizens of a world city, we will be aware of the impact of our actions in the rest of the UK and beyond, and will take a responsible world leadership role which contributes to the planet’s sustainability.”
“We will build and sustain a powerful sense of ownership and responsibility for our city, with civic participation as the norm.”
London Sustainable Development Commission Framework1
“We need to create stronger communities – ones where people are informed about what action is happening to address their concerns, where people feel it is worth them taking the time to pick up the phone, go to a residents’ meeting or put a youth night on for the local kids.”
“Community cohesion is what must happen in all communities to enable different groups of people to get on well together. People all want to fulfil their potential and feel that they belong and contribute to their local area.”
Responsible, strong and cohesive communities are good for…
Environmental sustainability - economic research suggests that efficacy (the belief that one's efforts have an impact) is a core driver for pro-environmental behaviours such as recycling and energy efficiency.4
Safety - Social exclusion and the individual attributes of those in the community are linked to neighbourhood issues such as crime.5
Children and young people - having a feeling of responsibility over your life has been shown to lead to improved health in young people.6
Examples of Relevant National Indicators:
NI2:% of people who feel they belong to their neighbourhood
NI3: Civic participation in the local area
NI11: Engagement in the Arts
Walterton and Elgin Community Homes (WECH)
What is it?
A successful housing-based social enterprise. Provides over 650 homes in the Borough of Westminster.
Set up to challenge the privatisation of council housing in the 1980s by Westminster Council.
Levels of rent are low across all property sizes and resident satisfaction levels are excellent.
How does it work?
What are the main impacts?
More responsible, strong and cohesive communities - WECH has interpreted its role as being wider than that of simply putting roofs over people’s heads. Through its wider community development services and social activities has contributed to building a safe, cohesive, sustainable community in the area.
Housings need being better met - transformed a previously deprived neighbourhood by providing a significant number of high-quality, affordable homes in an area of acute housing stress.
Healthier and well supported people - the improvement in the health of WECH’s residents is also marked and in 2000 the World Health Organisation rated WECH as being amongst the top three most successful projects internationally for empowering people and improving their health.
For more information contact:
T: 020 7266 3347
1. London Sustainable Development Commission
2. Home Office
4. London Health Commission, 2006. Sustainable Local Economies for Health project (SLEHP)
5. Armitage, R., 2002. Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour: What Really Works. NACRO, London.
6. As 4