Improving where we live will benefit how we live

Jan Simonsen, ROCKWOOL Group

Upgrades to the buildings in our community can have a surprisingly large impact to our quality of life.

Family in front of new house

If you’re wondering how much impact a neighbourhood can have on your wellbeing, the answer is: a lot!

The differences between neighbourhoods can be quite surprising. Attractive neighbourhoods within a city can draw in a more diverse population, enabling citizens to interact with families from a variety of backgrounds. This opens them up to different perspectives and gives rise to developmental growth.

Diversity also enhances local business environments, and improves job availability in the process, by giving businesses access to a labour market that has people with different skills and educational backgrounds. 

Yearly income may be increased by up to
0

for children from low-income families who live in closer contact with high-income families

In addition, studies show that children from low-income families who live in closer contact with high-income families are more likely to attend college. And as adults, they may have better job security, and experience a higher earning potential of up to 31% more. (Copenhagen Economics based on Kondo et al, 2015 and Chetty et al, 2016).

What you might be thinking is this: Don’t we already have neighbourhoods like this? The answer is yes, except they are not as common as you may imagine. Some neighbourhoods can be intimidating, especially if they are not properly maintained with renovations and building upgrades which can attract families and residents.

The “broken-window” theory suggests that an urban area left in poor condition will encourage anti-social and criminal behaviour. Residents are more likely to experience assaults and gun violence in these areas, causing them to feel less safe (Copenhagen Economics based on Kondo et al, 2015 and Chetty et al, 2016).

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Renovating city neighbourhoods can act as social policy

Source: Copenhagen Economics based on Kondo et al. (2015) and Chetty et al. (2016).

Renovation has been shown to reduce assaults by 9%, gun assaults by 39%, and nuisance crimes by 9% (Kondo et al, 2015). Ultimately, improvements to the infrastructure of a city can result in improvements to local social mobility. It can help attract new residents, which creates the need for more buildings and businesses and expands the tax base for the area.

An investment in our cities is an investment in everyone in our communities. The socio-economic benefits are numerous and impactful. Encourage your local leaders to support and invest in the renovation and upgrade of buildings in your neighbourhoods.

 

Sources:
1.(Copenhagen Economics based on Kondo et al, 2015 and Chetty et al, 2016).
2. (Kondo et al, 2015).

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