7. How well kept is the area?
This page is part of an E-resource for LSx's Sustainability Matrix tool. For more information please click here.
What success would mean
The Department for Communities and Local Government1 has identified nine Positive Local Qualities:
“Clean and tidy, green, unpolluted, secure, safe, accessible, socially inclusive and fulfilling, economically vital and viable, physically attractive.”
A well-kept area is good for...
Safety, and healthy, well supported people - There is evidence that well maintained streets and urban areas reduce the fear of crime or violence with subsequent beneficial impacts on health and psychological well-being. Neighbourhoods with blighted streetscapes are perceived as dangerous and threatening to an individual, whilst tended landscapes, help to reduce feelings of fear or violence. 2009 research by Encams entiled ‘London; Its People and their Litter’ has found that the condition of the local environment can significantly affect feelings of wellbeing.2
Healthy people - In addition to the direct health benefits received through outdoor recreation and sporting opportunities, there is a significant body of work carried out on the psychological and social benefits gained from access to green spaces.3
Air pollution is linked to poor health, particularly in lower socioeconomic classes.
Examples of Relevant National Indicators:
NI191: Residual household waste per head.
NI192: Percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling and composting.
NI195: Improved street and environmental cleanliness (levels of litter, detritus, graffiti and fly-posting).
Thornhill Tidy Team
What is it?
The Thornhill estate in Southampton was an area of very low environmental quality where litter, vandalism and graffiti were major sources of dissatisfaction for residents.
In 1999 the area was chosen as a New Deal for Communities (NDC) programme and in 2002 the NDC partnership agreed with Southampton City Council to jointly fund an extra cleaning service called the Thornhill Tidy Team.
How does it work?
Residents can report problems to the team through a dedicated phone line, the NDC office or via suggestion boxes in the local shopping arcade.
Local residents can volunteer for the Tidy Team and promote the team’s work in their area.
Children from local schools have also been engaged with the team’s work with the aim of sustaining the project’s impetus over the longer term.
Local businesses have been involved through initiatives such as the Tidy Business Awards.
A better kept area - As a result of the team’s work, Thornhill has been transformed from one of the dirtiest to one of the cleanest areas of Southampton. Residents feel pride in their area and many partner organisations and residents’ groups have become involved. Additional funding for environmental projects has been attracted.
Safety - The local constabulary report that crime is down as a direct result of the improved environment, and a 2007 project evaluation also supports this conclusion.
For more information, contact
T: 0800 169 5561
1. DCLG, 2007. Local Environmental Quality: A new view on measurement.
2. Encams/Capital Standards, 2007. London: Its people and its litter.
3. London Health Commission, 2006. Sustainable Local Economies for Health project.