Town and city dwellers most satisfied with their local area
Legal & General and Demos have developed a new Place Satisfaction Index showing that people living in towns and cities feel most satisfied with their local area.
The average Place Satisfaction Index value for the population of the UK was +26, on a scale of -100 to +100.
The score was based on study of 20,000 adults, which asked how satisfied people feel about the area they live in, by measuring their priorities against how they rate provision of those things.
The questions covered housing, communities, going out, exercise, jobs, shopping, fresh air, transport and internet access.
The resulting report, Everyday Places: Creating Strong Locations To Support Daily Life In Britain, said people scoring negative satisfaction rates had indicated that affordable housing was particularly important, “suggesting they are having difficulties meeting basic needs.”
The UK’s most satisfied residents were found to live in London, Scotland and the West Midlands. Those least satisfied resided in the South West, Wales and South East.
People living in city and town centres, and suburbanites, were found to be more satisfied compared to those based in rural locations or countryside villages.
The study showed that people people living in suburbs were likely to hold views about their area that were closer to those of people in other suburbs, than to urbanites in the nearby city or town centre. Meanwhile, those living in town and city centres held their own set of priorities which differed from suburbanites’.
The aim of the study was to explore how satisfied every constituency is about their locality and to highlight the elements of that place that matter most to local people.
L&G and Demos suggested government use it when making decisions about where to spend the £4bn levelling-up fund in England.
Nigel Wilson, chief executive at Legal & General, said: “Covid-19 has driven major change to people’s lives and global economies. Our health, happiness and priorities around what we need from our communities have been challenged.”
“New, evidence-based thinking around retail, suburbs and green space is very valuable if we are to successfully build back better and move all local satisfaction levels upwards.
“Legal & General has invested more than £1.5bn since the start of the pandemic to drive forward change in regional economies, with a focus on reviving town centres and delivering quality affordable housing, transport and digital infrastructure.”
The people’s priorities
Kitty Ussher, chief economic advisor at Demos, the cross-party think-tank, and co-author of the report, said: “The places we live in shape so much of what we do and how we live our lives — even more so during the last year. But it’s often been unclear how people’s priorities compare to their view on quality of provision.
“The index shows that some locations are better than others in meeting people’s routine needs and priorities. In particular, it shows the importance of good quality shops and access to fresh air and nature in our daily lives.”