School of the Built Environment

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UK government gets wise to OISD research

April 2008


The Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) continues to lead the way in sustainable living as recent government policy quotes Brookes academics and their ground-breaking work in urban design.

Findings produced by the WISE (Wellbeing in Sustainable Environments) research unit have informed two recent UK government policy documents. The National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society: Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods, produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government last month, quotes a section from Mitchell, Burton and Raman’s 2004 publication Neighbourhoods for Life: a checklist of recommendations for designing dementia-friendly outdoor environments. In November 2007, the Welsh Assembly Government referenced Burton and Mitchell’s 2006 book Inclusive Urban Design: Streets for Life (Architectural Press) in their Final Interim Guidance Document: Planning and Inclusive Design (Access Statements).

A three year research project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC) on designing dementia-friendly outdoor environments, inspired Professor Elizabeth Burton and Lynne Mitchell (co-founders of WISE) to develop the concept of Neighbourhoods for Life. These are neighbourhoods which people find easy to access, find their way around, use and enjoy as they grow older.

Professor Burton, Director of WISE, said:

“It is important to us that all our research is of use to policy and practice so we are very pleased that our Neighbourhoods for Life concept is having such an impact.”

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