Call for evidence: Community infrastructure (places and spaces) impact on social relations & community wellbeing evaluations

What’s happening?

We are carrying out a systematic review to find out whether interventions designed to improve community places and spaces are effective in improving social relationships and community wellbeing. We are particularly interested in any effects (positive or negative) on inequalities, and any differences in effects across different settings and population groups.

The review team will be doing a careful search for published material, but would also like to include ‘grey’ literature – such as evaluations that have yet to be published, or reports and evaluations produced by charities, government departments, or community groups.

How can you get involved?

If you are aware of an evaluation of an intervention designed to improve community places and spaces, with the aim of improving social relations or wellbeing, you can submit it to our systematic review and help us build an evidence base for community infrastructure interventions.

We are particularly seeking evidence that meets the following criteria:

  1. Evaluation studies with assessments of social relations or wellbeing taken before and after the intervention – this is to allow us to determine whether the intervention was associated with any changes in wellbeing.
  2. Evidence that includes comparison groups that were not exposed to the intervention is particularly welcome.
  3. Evaluations of interventions designed for populations at risk of inequalities
  4. Qualitative (e.g. interviews) and quantitative (i.e. figures-based) evidence is welcome.

All examples must be written in English and include an author and date. We can only include evidence which can be made publicly available. If the work was done outside the UK, it would be helpful if you could tell us something about how relevant you think the findings are likely to be to the UK setting.

Please send your submissions electronically to us at with the subject line ‘Evidence: Wellbeing and Community Infrastructure”

Submission deadline: 9 August 2017.

The protocol is on PROSPERO

2 thoughts on “Call for evidence: Community infrastructure (places and spaces) impact on social relations & community wellbeing evaluations

  1. In 1973 the Dept of the Environment commissioned surveys of leisure in two “experimental” areas (Sunderland and Stoke-on-Trent) from the Survey Unit of the then SSRC (now ESRC) to be carried out simultaneously with the main national survey of Quality of Life in Britain, which replicated the D0E leisure questions. The surveys were conducted by the late Dr Mark Abrams and myself on condition that the two local surveys also replicated all questions from our main survey. An Abstract giving details of coverage and a facsimile Questionnaire can be found on my website. The most accessible account for the general reader is:

    Hall 1976
    Subjective measures of quality of life in Britain 1971 to 1975: Some developments and trends
    Reprinted from Thompson E [Ed], Social Trends 7 (HMSO, 1976)

    Hall J F
    Measuring the Quality of Life Using Sample Surveys
    in Stober G and Schumacher D (Eds) Technology Assessment and Quality of Life Elsevier, 1973

    Findings from the leisure data are reported in:

    Hall J F and Perry N H
    Aspects of Leisure in Two Industrial Cities (Stoke-on-Trent and Sunderland),
    Occasional Paper No 5, SSRC Survey Unit, 1974

    Hall J F and Perry N H
    Aspects of Leisure in Two Industrial Cities
    in Leisure and the Quality of Life Vol 2 HMSO 1977

    I have no recent data on this topic, but I once did some analysis for Sunderland Programme Planning Dept to demonstrate subjective zoning of Sunderland using Census and local data provided by them and mapped on to data from the sirvey.

    Subjective Zoning of Sunderland.
    Teach-in on Community Analysis sponsored by Sunderland Programme Planning Unit held at The Percy Arms, Otterburn, October, 1974

    The presentation consisted mainly of transparencies of ward boundary maps with local Planning Dept and Census data overlaid with subjective measures from the survey. The transparencies are long since lost, but Sunderland may have some sort of record in their archives. The most interesting outcome of the teach-in was a complete change in the way the planners subsequently viewed the people of Sunderland and the areas where they lived. Hopefully their future plans for these areas were vastly improved in the light of their new outlook.

    Other reports and working papers can be downloaded from Bibliography for Quality of Life in Britain and related surveys which lists all known publications arising from the design and analysis of Quality of Life in Britain surveys conducted by Mark Abrams and John Hall at the SSRC Survey Unit between 1971 and 1975, as part of a cross-national programme to develop subjective social indicators (“Quality of Life”).

    (Mr) John F Hall
    [Retired academic survey researcher]

    Website: Journeys in Survey Research
    Course: Survey Analysis Workshop (SPSS)
    Research: Subjective Social Indicators (Quality of Life)


  2. Hi John thanks you very much for your reply and all the suggested reading, we’ll certainly take a look at it. Although, as you say, it’s not recent data, it is always good to get the longer term view and it will be interesting to see if these findings are similar to those of more recent surveys


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