British Land, the UK’s largest real estate investment trust, is committed to improving wellbeing through its development and placemaking practices. Happy City has helped the company to pursue this aspiration through a collaborative program of research, recommendations, site audits and workshops.
In the first phase of work, Happy City proposed a set of wellbeing principles based on extensive research in public health, neuroscience, behavioural economics and environmental psychology, as well as evidence from placemaking successes around the world. The report, Wellbeing Principles for British Land, offers seven principles, a broad set of goals, strategies, concrete actions, and metrics for measuring success.
In late 2015, Happy City engaged senior British Land staff in a series of workshops intended to empower participants to critically analyse the potential for pursuing wellbeing goals through property development, site management and community engagement. During collaborative work sessions, participants reflected on opportunities for action in their own areas of responsibility. Finally, we conducted a guided site audit at one of British Land’s mixed-use property assets. The audit provided an opportunity to test the proposed wellbeing principles against opportunities and challenges on the ground. This work enabled British Land decision makers to better understand how to weave wellbeing goals into the company’s existing and emerging policies. The work continues.