Impact of urban design on social capital: lessons from a case study in Braunstone

Many urban centres are still blighted by crime and poverty; poorly designed development can have negative effects on the health, welfare and economic prospects of communities. The design, scale, quality and distribution of structures within the built environment are key determinants of the environmental, social and economic wellbeing of urban areas and the quality of life of their inhabitants. Sustainable urban development requires a new way of doing things: a way which reduces environmental impact while at the same time promote widespread economic and social progress. Fundamental to social progress and wellbeing is the social capital of a community, referred to as the social bonds and norms or the 'glue that holds societies together'. The design and form of cities, neighbourhoods and individual buildings have significant implications on social capital as they can affect the way people interact and bond with each other and the sense of community.