Conference Essays 2010 Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region?
What do we envisage when we wish each other a prosperous New Year? How can we make it happen here and now? The South West Observatory’s 7th Annual Conference brought together a broad range of expertise to consider how distinct notions of prosperity are correlated, how to articulate and measure a common understanding of prosperity, and how to bring it about. The South West Observatory is a data and intelligence network, working to inform policy and decision making through the exchange of ideas beyond thematic and spatial boundaries. With a combination of presentations and ‘question time’ style debate, the conference gave delegates the opportunity to understand and explore the interrelationship of public policy objectives. The event programme, session summaries, speakers’ biographies and presentations from the daySW are available to view or download from www.swo.org.uk/events/ SOUTH WEST OBSERVATORY conference-2010 Health, Wealth and Happiness: What Makes a Prosperous Region? South West Observatory 7th Annual Conference The Assembly Rooms, Bath Wednesday 31 March 2010
CONTENTS Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? 02 Introduction Vinita Nawathe • Managing Director of the South West Observatory 04 Robert Kennedy speech 05 Understanding and measuring Professor Martin Boddy • Chair, SWO health, wealth and happiness Board and Executive Dean, Faculty of Environment and Technology, UWE 06 Sustainable Development Indicators Dr Sara Eppel • Head of Sustainable and Wellbeing Measures Products and Consumers, Defra 08 Understanding and measuring Paul Brown • Deputy Director health, wealth and happiness (on behalf of Dr Gabriel Scally, Regional Director of Public Health for the South West) 09 Developing a principled prosperous Matthew Taylor • Chief Executive, society and releasing human potential Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture & Commerce (RSA) 10 Panel debate: What is prosperity? Nigel Jump • Chief Economist, South West Regional Development Agency 12 As above Dame Suzi Leather • Chair, Charity Commission 14 Sustainable Communities in the Professor Katie Williams • Director of South West - how can we achieve the Centre for Environment & Planning, quantity and quality? UWE 16 Health, Wealth and Happiness, and Simon Mauger • Regional Programme Futures thinking Director (South West), NIACE 18 Practically realising prosperity Jonathon Porritt CBE • Former Chair, Sustainable Development Commission and Founder, Forum for the Future 19 Bibliography and Acknowledgements 01
VINITA NAWATHE Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? At the heart of SWO is a social enterprise set up to develop and co-ordinate an intelligence network that supports and enhances the work of its members. The SWO network is made up of publicly funded bodies that provide data, analysis and research mostly within, and about, the South West. It achieves efficiencies through sharing best practice and resource,Better Information, Better avoiding duplication and gettingUnderstanding, Better Decisions bigger bang for buck through joint working and joint commissioning.The South West Observatory (SWO)promotes evidence-based In our view, evidence - data,policy making. research and analysis - are weapons in an armoury. EvidenceWhile this is not contentious does not replace decision-in principle, there can be some making, it helps it. The strongerresistance from some policy your evidence the strongerand decision makers. For some, your argument, the more youevidencing everything sounds understand the better preparedtechnical, dull and slow, while for you are for counter-argument.some others, evidence is onlyuseful if it backs up the decision However, decisions can still bealready made - so called policy- made on gut instinct, for politicalbased evidence. expediency, or despite some evidence - and can still be theThe challenge for the South West right decision in a given situation.Observatory is in promoting the Evidence goes beyond hardrole of evidence beyond a nice to statistics and measured indicatorshave add-on - especially for those and is the sum of all the availablewho believe politicians are elected information including knowledgeto “do things” and quickly - to an about public perceptions,integral, informing, authority-giving preferences and behaviour andmust-have part of the policy- the past and likely outcomes ofmaking process. contiguous policy interventions.02
Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region?One of our aims at SWO is to Robert Kennedy was a commonfacilitate functional conversations inspiration for some, and so his- between researchers and policy 1968 speech at the University ofmakers, across policy silos and Kansas kicks off this tour of ideas.sector perspectives. To that end,we arrange technical workshops, I hope this collection of viewspolicy seminars and an annual provides food for thought, addsconference to share knowledge to understanding and ultimatelyand expertise from within and informs some good policy andbeyond our network. We want to decision making.avoid the situation where an expertin any particular field sees a newly To paraphrase a colleague at theannounced policy or decision and Public Health Observatory in asays (to themselves or the press) World Cup year, here at SWO,“They wouldn’t have done that if we aim to provide you with thethey’d known what I know!” football to kick around, but you play your own game and scoreThe theme for our conference in your own goals.March 2010 was Health, Wealthand Happiness; what makes aprosperous region. It broughttogether a broad range of expertiseto consider how distinct notions ofprosperity are correlated, how toarticulate and measure a commonunderstanding of prosperity, andhow to bring it about.The range of ideas and viewpointson the day certainly started someconversations. With many peoplecurrently grappling to express acollective aspiration in 2010 terms,we had a lot of requests for theday’s ideas to be captured andtaken forward. I am pleased thatnine of our speakers were ableto turn their talks into essays toshare with delegates and a wideraudience. 03
ROBERT KENNEDY SPEECH Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region?“Too much and for special locks for our Yet the gross national in short, except thattoo long, we seemed doors and the jails product does not allow which makes lifeto have surrendered for the people who for the health of our worthwhile.personal excellence and break them. It counts children, the quality ofcommunity values in the destruction of their education or the And it can tell usthe mere accumulation the redwood and the joy of their play. everything aboutof material things. loss of our natural It does not include the America except why wonder in chaotic beauty of our poetry we are proud that weOur Gross National sprawl. It counts or the strength of are Americans.”Product, now, is over napalm and counts our marriages, the$800 billion dollars a nuclear warheads intelligence of our Robert F. Kennedyyear, but that Gross and armored cars for public debate or the University of KansasNational Product - if we the police to fight the integrity of our public 18 March 1968judge the United States riots in our cities. It officials. It measuresof America by that - that counts Whitman’s neither our wit norGross National Product rifle and Speck’s knife. our courage, neithercounts air pollution and And the television our wisdom nor ourcigarette advertising, programs which learning, neither ourand ambulances to glorify violence in compassion nor ourclear our highways order to sell toys to devotion to our country,of carnage. It counts our children. it measures everything04
PROFESSOR MARTIN BODDY Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? of economic performance is, 1968 expressed this with great others has focused on self-reported according to the Office of National eloquence. levels of happiness and the factors Statistics, ‘an integral part of the that account for differences in this UK national accounts … a measure Also, in richer countries at least, across time and place. of total economic activity in a the link between output and region’. It measures the total value measures of well-being such as We need to define both our of goods and services (including health, education and job security priorities and objectives and the public sector) produced in a given are at best weak. And paradoxically, measure we use to set targets and time period. Expressed in terms levels of self-reported happiness or chart progress. To polarise things of output per head or output satisfaction with life have not risen there are perhaps four alternatives. per worker, it is a measure of with rising levels of GDP . First: ‘it’s the economy, stupid’, and productivity, the key measure of to quote economist Paul Krugman, ‘competitiveness;’ according to There are four main alternatives ‘productivity isn’t everything but in the Treasury. to GDP each of which embodies , the long run it is almost everything’ different definitions of prosperity and that’s what we should focus Levels of output are strongly linked and well being and, by implication, on. Second: to quote Layard, to income, unemployment, job different goals. First, the Index of ‘happiness is the overarching good’, security, health and life expectancy. Social and Economic Wellbeing and we should focus on the causes And the recent ‘recession’ - provides a single monetary of happiness and our leverage over negative change in GDP for two measure which factors in social them. Third: to quote the Stiglitz quarters - recently reminded us of and environmental costs and the Commission set up by President what happens when output falls positive contribution of unpaid Sarkhozy, ‘measures of well-being and it all goes horribly wrong. caring, volunteering and other should be put in the context ofUnderstanding and measuring factors to provide an alternative to sustainability’ and we shouldhealth, wealth and happiness So what’s wrong with that? GDP Second, the United Nations . combine goals of well-being and The problem is that GDP simply has developed indices of human environment. Fourth; to quote TimHow we measure progress is measures the monetary value of development potential which Jackson writing for the Sustainablefundamental to how we define our the goods and services produced combine life expectancy and Development Commission,policy goals. The measures we use, regardless of the benefit - or harm educational attainment with GDP ‘prosperity without growth is nothe performance indicators we set - to people and society of what to provide a single numerical index longer a utopian dream. It is adefine and shape thinking on where is being produced. It takes no which can be used to compare financial and ecological necessity.’we should be heading. Prosperity account of the impact of producing places and track change over And we must abandon goals builtcan be defined in terms of affluence, those goods and services on time. The Department for Food, around output growth and GDP .growth and wealth. But it can also environmental sustainability of Environment and Rural Affairsencompass welfare, wellbeing consumption of non-renewable has developed a ‘score-card’and happiness - and these are not resources. And it takes no account including 68 indicators spanningnecessarily the same thing. of the distribution of benefits the economy, climate change and across society - of inequalities energy, natural resources andGross Domestic Product, the widely in distribution. Robert Kennedy’s sustainable communities. Finallyused ‘official’ headline measure speech in Kansas as long ago as economist Richard Layard among 05
DR SARA EPPEL Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? • achieve personal goals & participate The slide below illustrates the green space, biodiversity habitats, • supportive personal relationships correlation between areas of flood risk, road accidents and • communities deprivation and poor environmental presence of ‘regulated sites’. • health quality, with some startling results. • financial & personal security A couple of the qualitative indicators • rewarding employment give us a good handle on issues of • healthy & attractive environment perception, such as perceptions of anti social behaviour, or self reported The wellbeing indicator is just one general health. With health, for of the 68 sustainable development example, over 90% of boys and girls indicators which are published aged under 15 rate themselves as in annually in ‘Sustainable development good or very good health, whereas indicators in your pocket’ and on this falls to around 70-75% of men Defra’s website, as easy to read pie and women in the general population. charts and graphs with traffic light assessments of progress. The 68 The main wellbeing indicator which indicators already include wellbeing came into effect in 2007 has the measures such as fear of crime, following as part of its cluster of numbers of workless households and measures: rates of suicide, which demonstrate the mix of qualitative and quantitative Each column is 1/10th of the • Overall life satisfaction data that contributes to understanding population by area of deprivation, • Overall life satisfaction byWellbeing indicators - what do we wellbeing. and the colours represent 1, 2, 3 or social grademeasure and what can it show? 4 environmental conditions that are • Satisfaction with aspects of life The framework of wellbeing that was ‘least favourable’ (meaning in the • Satisfaction with aspects of life,When the 2005 Sustainable agreed across Government covers the worst 10% in England. So in the least by social gradeDevelopment Strategy was published following: deprived/most affluent areas about • Satisfaction with aspects of life,in 2005, Government committed to 30% of the population live in areas by agelooking holistically at wellbeing, to where there is one or possibly two • Frequency of positive andsee what is might mean for policy environmental issues that that may negative feelingsand how it might be measured. A be least favourable. By contrast in the • Frequency of positive andcross-Government group identified most deprived areas over 80% of the negative feelings, by social grademeasures to contribute to a basket population live in areas that may be • Frequency of feelings or activitiesof wellbeing indicators. A common affected by at least one environmental which may have a positive orunderstanding of what wellbeing is condition that is least favourable. The negative impact on wellbeingwas established: correlation between deprivation and • Level of participation in sport poor environmental quality is shown • Access to green space• positive physical, social and to be strong. Conditions examined are • Level of participation inmental state air quality, river water quality, housing other activities• individuals have a sense of purpose conditions, fly-tipping, litter, detritus, • Positive mental health06
Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region?The overall life satisfaction (on But the variation from the average is Finally, the ‘happiness’ questions.a scale from 0 to 10) plotted on the horizontal axes. These This slide highlights different feelingsconsistently show an average are coloured according to socio- felt every day or most days over thearound 7 and the most economic group. The orange group preceding 2 weeks. 73% of peoplecommon score being 8 out of (group E - casual labourers, state had felt happy, but only 60% of group10. But the more informative pensioners, unemployed) has around E (casual labourers, state pensioners,element is perhaps the difference 10% fewer people being satisfied for unemployed) said they had felt happyin perception between the red almost all the aspects - particularly so every day or most days. The responsecolumns (managerial and in relation to relationships, standard for ‘engaged’ varied considerably withprofessionals), through to the of living, day to day activities, health, up to 75% of group A (managerial)orange columns (people who achievement of goals and future feeling engaged but as low as 48%have never been in paid financial security. By contrast, around for Group E. The results for ‘everythingemployment). The highest 5% more people in this group than the was an effort’ also highlighted aorange columns is also on level 8/10 average were satisfied in relation to marked difference for group E withbut never rises above 18% of The following slide shows the details feeling part of their community. with 22% agreeing to this statement,respondents and is more spread across of satisfaction with different aspects against 11% for Group A.5/10 through to 10/10. The managerial of life. Eleven aspects on the left This graph illustrates results thatcolumn (red) by contrast peaks (from relationships to community), are change as people move throughsignificantly at 8/10 with 30% qualitatively rated, and the variation in different life stages (based on resultsof respondents selecting this: the answers is shown. So, on average for different age groups). Standard 88% of the population were fairly or of living stays at around 80-85% of very satisfied with their relationships, people fairly or very satisfied, until 86% their accommodation, 85% their they hit around age 55 or so when it standard of living etc. rises to over 90%. Similarly, the results for ‘ability to influence own life’ curve upwards at this age - in this case after a steady downward trend since the early 20s. In summary, if the South West region is keen to develop its own set of wellbeing indicators, I would very much recommend capturing some from the national set. Wellbeing does notThe good news for the South West of have a single indicator it is a basket ofEngland, is that the local populations’ indicators, and I hope these examplesoverall dissatisfaction with their lives is have shown the richness of informationthe lowest across England. So the that can be captured from differentfactors that bring people a good quality groups of society, which can be veryof life are clearly high in this region. helpful for targeting policy interventions. 07
DR GABRIEL SCALLY Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? skills, opportunities, physical • develop and implement robust, reliable 6. Education environment, capability, social support measures of social connections, political 7 Environmental Diversity . and social capital, service provision, voice, and insecurity that can be shown 8. Living Standard relative income inequality and financial to predict life satisfaction 9. Governance capability. The review also highlights • assess inequalities in a comprehensive The index is “generated to reflect the a number of issues which affect the way in all the dimensions happiness and general well-being of the quality and selection of indicators to • assess the links between various Bhutanese population more accurately measure health inequalities. These quality- of-life domains for each person, and profoundly than a monetary measure. include importance, feasibility and and this information should be used The measure will both inform Bhutanese cost, availability, clear relevance to when designing policies in various fields people and the wider world about the interventions, technical issues, criteria/ • provide the information needed current levels of human fulfilment inUnderstanding and measuring guidance, smallest population for to aggregate across quality-of-life Bhutan and how these vary acrosshealth, wealth and happiness which indicator is reliable, information dimensions, allowing the construction districts and across time, and will also governance, impact, indicator sets and of different indexes inform government policy. (Ura, 2008) ”When understanding the interactions data sources. (Marmot, 2010) • incorporate questions to capturebetween health, wealth and happiness people’s life evaluations, hedonic Ura (2008) argues that the reason forit is important to consider two main Additional evidence which argues experiences and priorities measuring all of the dimensions is thatfactors. Firstly, that “health is a state for a need to “shift emphasis from • assess sustainability using a well- happiness does not depend on anyof complete physical, mental and measuring economic production identified dashboard of indicators individual aspect, but “having sufficientsocial well-being and not merely the to measuring people’s well-being” • develop a set of physical indicators achievements in each of the 9 dimensions” .absence of disease or infirmity” (World comes from the recent Report by the covering the environmental aspects ofHealth Organization, 1946) but also that Commission on the Measurement sustainability. In particular there is a The evidence presented shows that well“human health is a subsystem of the of Economic Performance and Social need for a clear indicator of our proximity being is not dependent on any one singleEarth‘s health. You cannot have well Progress (2009). The report also argues to dangerous levels of environmental issue. We must therefore move towards ahumans on a sick planet. (Berry, 2003) ” that it is important to: damage. (Commission on the Measurement of far more holistic notion of health, wealth • distinguish between an assessment Economic Performance and Social Progress, 2009) and happiness, because the factors thatThese statements highlight the fact of current well-being and an influence these outcomes are many.that health, wealth, happiness, society assessment of sustainability, whether One set of indicators based on theand sustainability are intrinsically linked this can last over time concept that well-being is determined An example we could learn from isand fundamentaly dependent on one • look at income and consumption by wide and varied influences is the Freiburg, in the Rhine Valley, whereanother. rather than production, when Gross National Happiness (GNH) planning decisions are made with a focus evaluating material well-being Index developed in Bhutan. The index, on the well being of the population,The recent Marmot Review of • emphasise the household perspective inaugurated and launched by the Prime ensuring that developments are:health inequalities also provides • consider income and consumption Minister of Bhutan in 2008, is made up • making places to live fulfilled livesstrong evidence that the social and jointly with wealth of the following dimensions: • supporting community interactionenvironmental dimensions which • give more prominence to the 1. Psychological Well-being • prioritising the ease of local movementinfluence health are wide and varied. distribution of income, consumption 2. Time Use • paying particular attention to the role ofThese include adequate standards of and wealth 3. Community Vitality public transport. (WHO Collaborating Centreliving, decent work, fair employment, • broaden income measures to non- 4. Culture for Healthy Cities and Urban Policy and South Westa good start, education, appropriate market activities 5. Health Regional Public Health Group, 2008)08
MATTHEW TAYLOR Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? individuals and communities so that represented in the mass media). not only do they have more control, not only does more of the money It is in organisations - at work, in circulate in those communities clubs and charities - that we close but the resources enable people this distance between personal to move from dependency to efficacy and social pessimism. independence. So an important question for the South West Observatory is how Third, we need to encourage people institutions in the region operate. Are to behave in ways which enhance they innovative, open and inclusive what David Halpern has called the or hierarchical, bureaucratic and hidden wealth of nations. This is conservative? the web of goodwill, trust, caring, reciprocity and volunteering that Last week I was at a meeting in the largely determines the health of West of England to discuss issues society. Human beings are naturally facing small market towns. Too inclined to empathy and reciprocity much of the talk was about how the - we developed these instincts in towns suffer from the failures of small homogeneous communities policies set down by central or local but now live in diverse, fast moving government. Yet, any of these townsOne way for the South West to think we face, giving decision makers at mass societies. What are the new could transform their prospectsabout future challenges is to ask all levels permission to make the ways of growing and protecting by increasing their own structureswhat model of citizenship is needed right choices for the long term and social capital? of challenge and support. If localfor the region to be successful. In also recognising that the options businesses were more innovative,the face of the short term problems open to them depend a lot on how In seeking to promote a sustainable if local social networks were betterof public service funding and rising we run our lives. For example, the model of citizenship what happens exploited, if local people themselvessocial needs, the longer term trade off between economic growth in organisations is crucial. There got together to develop new ideaschallenge of climate change and finite and environmental sustainability is a gulf between how we feel and commit to a shared visionnatural resources, and the overall can be less difficult if individuals about our own lives and our then so much could be achievedcontext of globalisation, how do we and communities agree to do things view of society as a whole. We despite the failings of town hall andneed to live to prosper? differently. tend to be optimistic (if anything Whitehall. too optimistic) about how ourThere are three dimensions to Second, we need more creative own lives will go while we are Of course, government policycreating sustainable citizenship and resourceful citizens. There are far too pessimistic about what matters to the region’s future,for the twenty first century. We implications here for education, for is happening in society at large. as does the state of the nationalneed citizens who are engaged the way we deliver public services Equally, while we tend to be economy and the global environment.in decision making. This doesn’t and for promoting and supporting tolerant and understanding about But the most powerful place to startonly, or even mainly, mean turnout enterprise. For example, how can we the people we know we can be this conversation is asking how wein elections. It is about people change the way we spend public and judgemental and harsh about need to live if we are to create theunderstanding the kinds of issues third sector money on disadvantaged strangers (especially as they are better future to which we aspire. 09
NIGEL F JUMP Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? Whilst we may debate what we need to be aware of “money £250,000 bonus feels hard done by “remunerated work” means, it is illusion” over time and space. If I when his colleagues get £500,000 hard to deny its role as a basis for have £10 now and you had £5 thirty even though, in any wider sense, he sustainable welfare for individuals years ago, you might have been is prosperous. At another extreme, and groups across space and time. “better off” then than I am now, concern about relative prosperity is Academic and research studies of in the sense that your purchasing behind the importance people put on health, wealth and happiness are power may have been greater. national collective bargaining in the clear that economic or financial Similarly, £5 to spend in a relatively work place. prosperity are the bedrock of much poor, developing country in 2010 human activity. Of course, we can may buy a lot more than £10 • Asymmetric prosperity extend these traditional measures spent in central London. Absolute Financial prosperity relative to our to better reflect other welfare prosperity, then, needs to be neighbours is not all that matters. issues, as the English RDAs have measured against some concept of People are also concerned about done with the development of reality; its implied access to real, direction: they seem to value things the Regional Index of Sustainable valued resources. differently according to whether Economic Wellbeing, but we can they are rising or falling. To explain, not replace them entirely. In • Relative prosperity if I earn £10 an hour and then get a environmental, social and cultural People are not just interested in raise to £12 an hour, I will be pleasedWhat is prosperity? terms, human satisfaction is rooted their absolute prosperity, however. in the short term but I will quickly in the removal of fundamental They also care about their relative get used to the new wage rate andProsperity can be defined in many economic concerns because that prosperity. It is not just how soon “take it for granted” If the .ways. Here, I concentrate on one then allows the building of higher much I have but how much I have extra £2 an hour is then removed,important aspect: “a successful, aspirations and ambition - known as compared with other people that whatever the reason, I will beflourishing or thriving … especially culture. can affect my contentment. A dissatisfied and the hurt will last.in financial respects. Whilst it is ” famous experiment at Havard For many people, the pain of losingnot everything, financial prosperity It is useful to dig deeper into the showed that students offered income often seems to be greateris a crucial part of overall well-being. economic psychology of what a smaller absolute amount of than the pleasure of acquiring it:Indeed, I would argue that it is a people mean by prosperity. We money preferred that to a larger we are asymmetric in our responsesine qua non for health, wealth can recognise five different ways amount when their peers were to changes in prosperity. This hasand happiness. Whatever the flaws of looking at this issue; all of which given less rather than more than very real consequences, as we canof GDP/GVA as comprehensive have evidence to support them, them. In figures, for example, they see in the various disputes currentlyindicators of these three factors, but are also areas of debate. I use thought it was better to have $100 underway in the UK transport sectorthey are an important component money as the measuring stick: if everyone else got $50 than to and as we may well see to a muchof well-being, representing a clear it is the best tool we have as an have $150 when everyone else got greater extent as the governmentmeasure of the income rewards of objective ruler to compare value. $200. We see this relative affect tries to cut our public sector clothwork effort available to households in many situations, e.g. when we back towards our means in the nextand individuals. They attempt to • Absolute prosperity rue the “inequity” of differentials few years.capture the “what we get out If I have £10 and you have £5, I am in wages and bonuses withinfor what we put in” of human probably more prosperous than organisations and societies. The • Intergenerational prosperityendeavour. you in absolute terms. However, investment banker who gets a This asymmetry can extend10
Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region?backwards and forwards a long way. the long term. I would argue that,Most of us are “better off” than though imperfect, it has provedour parents and they were “better better than any alternative atoff” than our grandparents. Most solving the great intergenerationalof us aspire for our children and issues of the day. Society needsgrandchildren to be “better off” to recognise property rights andthan ourselves. Is this fundamental to balance market power andto human nature or a consequence information with optimal regulation.of the period of growth we have Generating institutional trust,experienced in the last 150 years? thereby, the market offers the SWThese intergenerational matters play region robust hopes for sustaineda key role in many important matters prosperity in the years ahead.that we currently face. Climatechange, for example, is partly aboutintergenerational prosperity. We cantake the approach “live for today andlet tomorrow look after itself” or wecan say “I will sacrifice some of myprosperity for future. Essentially, ”we make these decisions aboutvalue over time every day whenwe decide to spend, to save and to lessons of sustainability in wealth innovation to entrepreneurship andinvest and when we vote for “jam accumulation. competitiveness. On the demandtoday” or “jam tomorrow” . side, this means the evolution of Assuming these five aspects of values to reflect new scarcities,• Sustained prosperity prosperity ring true, we can return needs and aspirations.These quasi-political issues take to the essential argument thatus to the final aspect of prosperity. economic prosperity is part of our Against this background, ourMany people prefer a degree of make up and an essential part of fiscal and monetary levers needscertainty in their income stream. a sustainable future. Economic, to foster personal incentives,There can be no “steady state” social and environmental aspects of aspiration and motivation. Policybut one only has to think what has health, wealth and happiness can has to work with the market: ahappened to people’s consideration not be divorced from each other. In system in which exchange createsof health, wealth and happiness turn, given increases in population value and “putting aside todayduring the recession to understand and productivity over time, it for the benefit of tomorrow” is athow important sustained prosperity implies that, for the foreseeable the heart of human activity. At itscan be for many. Mind you, given future, growth will remain a key best, this “capitalism” is not aboutthe UK proclivity to indulge in element of human reality. On the accumulating “stuff” and instantrepeated property booms, you have supply side, this links through gratification. Rather, it is aboutto ask whether we really learn the employment, skills, technology and development and prosperity for 11
DAME SUZI LEATHER Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? capital investment, for growth in enterprise and an expansion of the knowledge economy. And they are right to do so. As we have seen recently economic resilience matters. But so too does social resilience. We are at heart social and spiritual beings. And if we are to protect and foster authentic well-being we need to pay attention to growing those aspects of our lives. A basic psychological need is to love and be loved. The social connectedness in which love is embedded starts with the family, so I believe that those commentators who emphasise theWhat is prosperity? family are right. But I do not think that strengthening the family can And so we come to difference and in inequality and to look beyond theTo prosper means to thrive, to do be divorced from public policy; nor, inequality itself. How is this related culture of personal contentmentwell, to succeed. It does not mean in my view, does a strong state to prosperity? The answer, as Richard to a concern for those who do notto get, or be, rich. Indeed the drive imply weak families. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett have so share in comparative well-being. Tofor riches is often anathema to brilliantly shown in The Spirit Level, is be vigilant about the more distantprosperity. We seem to be almost Next we require others to very strongly indeed. More unequal dangers that result from a short-hard-wired to want to improve recognise us, to treat us, as societies have poorer outcomes run preoccupation with individualour lot but when the concept of having worth. What we might call whether you measure it by teenage comfort.improvement is purely a material the politics of respect. This is not pregnancy, drug use, crime, ill-healthnotion and when it is based only just a matter of us each being (mental and physical), educational There is a substantial role foron individual gain then, ironically, nice to each other in our private attainment and so on. The forces government (central and local) inwe begin to drive out precisely that lives, although that is necessary. driving increases in inequality are minimising - through social security,which underpins true prosperity. Again, there are public policy plain – you only have to consider how state pensions, health care andSo, if we wish to build a prosperous dimensions: equality of opportunity inequality has grown in recent times education - inequality and itsregion, what should we aim for? to education, health and social in spite of unprecedented amounts effects. But I am interested also services, policing, broadband and of money and effort being devoted to in informal organisations wherebyThere will be others who argue so on. Underpinning this politics of combating it. we express a concern for the well-an economic case, who will focus respect must be a recognition of being of others, through activitieson jobs and employment, who diversity and equal opportunities So seeking prosperity requires us which lie outside politics and publicwill explain the need for inward regardless of difference. continually to strive against increases provision but which nevertheless12
Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region?reflect and advance concern for So, in a sense, it also is with society. or the neighbour who will go in and This matters because we are socialothers. The small acts of kindness Deeper social roots, means richer sit with an elderly confused parent beings, we derive our sense ofwhich show neighbourliness, the societal loam, better able to help while their son or daughter gets ourselves from how others perceivevoluntary organisations which build individuals withstand the vicissitudes a break, or the community music and treat us. And prosperity in theconnectedness, the patchwork of of life. Reliable, dependable, group which puts on monthly live modern world requires a continuingcitizens who do so much to stabilise adequately funded public services performances in the village hall, and resilient intermeshing ofand sustain our social fabric. may in effect be socially stabilising, or the environmental volunteer the myriad communities which but they will never absolutely replace who helps clear the drainage ditch constitute our civic society. We needSo as we try to arrive at a common in efficacy and reach the authentic, around that precious land, whether community organisations strongarticulation of what prosperity simple and responsive provision of it’s the avid walker who picks up enough to secure people’s identitiesmeans let me put the case charitable activity. litter as he strides across the moor, and relationships.for including in it: richness of or the young woman who meetsassociational forms. How can we So whether it’s faith communities, prisoners through the gate release I belive that there is a strong caseprosper without that complex social play groups, older people’s scheme, these all share something to be made for regional prosperityconnectedness which constitutes lunch clubs, environmental or in common. They all demonstrate a depending on a healthy third sectorcivic society? arts organisations, whether it’s sense of connectedness and mutual comprising organisational forms the volunteer who supports the responsibility. They represent what which express, foster and cementA system which allows for few frightened young parent who is social science jargon might term connectedness.or no social forms between the overwhelmed by the yo-yo-ing ‘polyvalent social links’ or, moreindividual or family and the state emotions of caring for a tiny child, prosaically, ‘social glue’.is totalitarian. A system whichstructures most relations betweenindividuals through corporations, asmodern Japanese society has done,is proving to be peculiarly vulnerableto the new social challengesof unemployment and aging.(Interestingly there are now in Japandeliberate attempts to try to createand foster civic society.)So what would a region seekingprosperity try to foster? An analogyfrom climate science might help.The thickness of soil determineshow much carbon is released to theatmosphere. A thicker layer trapsmore carbon. And what determinesthe soil’s thickness? The length ofplant roots. 13
PROFESSOR KATIE WILLIAMS Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? housing is still delivered in ‘placeless’, and green space; good public transport in anything close to the definition single-use, speculative, developments, and other transport infrastructure; of a sustainable community set out with little urban design or civic merit. In buildings that can meet different needs above (Williams and Lindsay, 2007). A this paper, I ask what is going wrong, over time and that minimise the use number of reports have assessed the and offer some thoughts on what we of resources; well integrated mix of UK’s progress and conclude that while could do to deliver more sustainable decent homes of different types and some new housing developments and prosperous (in the widest sense) tenures; good quality local public are performing better than previous places in the SW. services; sense of place; right links developer norms in terms of urban with the wider; regional, national and design, and some aspects of energy First, is seems useful to set out international community; sufficient efficiency, travel behaviour and exactly what is meant by a sustainable size, scale and density and the right community development, they are community. In the UK, a definition is layout to support basic amenities not delivering on community cohesion used that encompasses both new and in the neighbourhood and minimise (many are just remote dormitory regeneration schemes. Sustainable use of resources (including land). settlements), service provision and communities are argued to have Summarised from ODPM, 2003, p.5 many other key sustainability features a mixture of specific physical and (findings summarised from reports by Williams, 2007; Williams and Lindsay, 2007; Sustainable non-physical qualities (see the table Sustainable communities are seen as Development Commission, 2007; Power 2004; below); with a fundamental focus on desirable in the UK because they are a CLG, 2006; TCPA, 2004, RICS, 2007).Sustainable and Prosperous achieving balanced and integrated genuine attempt to avoid past failuresCommunities in the South West: social, economic and environmental in housing and planning. The concept These same reports offer somehow can we achieve quantity components. The emphasis is on has incorporated lessons learnt from insights into why things are goingand quality? housing and other uses, such as mass social housing, periods of poor wrong, citing variously, a mismatch employment, community, and design (urban and architectural) and between delivery partners’ aspirations,Even given the current economic education, with a real concern for the ineffective, property-led, regeneration. objectives and timescales (particularlyclimate, it is likely that there will be needs of communities now and in More specifically, sustainable between regulators and regulated)large scale housing, and therefore, the future. Importantly, ‘sustainable communities are an attempt to and a lack of local benefits accruingurban growth in the South West communities’ are presented as ‘mixed’ address the ‘sustainability agenda’, by from new developments (whichin the next 20-30 years. Latest communities, containing, for example, valuing the environmental, social and means that new housing is seen asprojections show that the number social and private housing, a mix of economic attributes of a scheme an imposition not a responsibility, andof households in the Region will housing forms and household types. over time. hence treated as a numbers game,increase by 36% between 2006 rather than an exercise in ‘place-and 2031. The Government’s stated A sustainable community has: a Although we have had pro-sustainable making’). In these circumstances, sitesaim is to accommodate this growth flourishing local economy; strong communities policy guidance for are often developed speculatively,in sustainable (and prosperous) leadership; effective engagement and over a decade, and the ‘Sustainable with no detailed or long-term planscommunities: we have had central participation (especially in the planning, Communities Programme’ since 2003, by the local authorities. The problemgovernment guidance and ‘sustainable design and long-term stewardship of evidence of progress on the ground is with this system is summed up bycommunities’-focused policy for over the community); active voluntary and disappointing. Although it is difficult to Liz Pearce, Chief Exec of the British10 years. Yet, we seem to struggle community sector; diverse, vibrant and get a true picture of advances, recent Property Federation when she statesto deliver, both in terms of quality creative local culture; safe and healthy research suggests that only a minority ‘One of the shortcomings of theand quantity, and the majority of our local environment; well-designed public of all new housing is being delivered predominant build-for-sale housing14
Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region?model is that the developer does is not to say that ‘anything goes’ but design by showing people do not local authorities have greater localnot retain long-term interest in the that we need to find housing solutions necessarily behave more sustainably autonomy and financial independence,site. There is no incentive to produce focused around agreed principles in so-called ‘sustainable’ housing and work within more flexible regionala design better than the minimum (of sustainable development, such schemes (Williams et al., 2009). Again, this planning frameworks. They often leadneeded to make a sale, and issues as the prudent use of resources needs careful consideration to ensure in master planning and engagement.such as the design of the public and social equity) but then to realise we are not repeating past mistakes in In many instances, local authorities arerealm and long term maintenance a range of solutions, which could physical determinism. landowners (or have some stake in thecan be sidelined without any impact include, for example community land land) and can therefore demonstrateon profit.’ Further, delivery problems trusts, more co-housing, small scale In addition, we need to develop more leadership, and they can often borrowwere also found with the complexity developments and also some larger sustainable and effective delivery money at cheaper rates from municipalof the process, including numerous new settlements. We need to accept mechanisms. We need to maximise banks to forward-fund. A wider rangeagents, mismatched regulatory and also that with multiple visions go wide- what we can do within the current of house-builders is often involvedfunding systems, and poor phasing ranging actions to achieve sustainable planning and delivery systems (self-procurement groups, private andof infrastructure and amenities. In communities, some actions may be (learning from good practice in the social landlords, etc), and this givesaddition, private investment was often top-down and capital intensive, others UK). We have to maximise the variety a wider choice of types and tenuresdifficult to secure and maintain, and more community (or individually) of public-private partnership models of housing, and more long termcommunity participation was found to driven. But we need this sophisticated that can be used, depending on local interests. Large scale neighbourhoodbe problematic. Many of the reports vision, delivered by people with circumstances (Studdert, 2009). We also developments often have more localalso cite a low skills base, within and experience and knowledge of have to ensure committed leadership support than in the UK because ofbetween professions trying to deliver different models. from individuals or organisations that sustained municipality and communitysustainable communities. And, partly have medium or long term interests, involvement, and visible benefitsas a consequence of these problems, We also need to develop a stronger rather than short term goals: this could (op cit).the sustainable communities agenda evidence base around sustainable be from LAs, architects, developers,is also not meeting housing targets: communities and act on it. We need communities or land owners. And we In conclusion, it is possible, buthousing completions have halved since to monitor what works and what have to develop teams with mutual difficult to deliver truly sustainable2007 and most completed units have , does not. Unfortunately, much ‘good interests, with better skilled team communities in the UK, where peoplehad some sort of subsidy. practice’ is now accepted wisdom, and members. Project management and can live prosperous and healthy lives. is not based on learning or evidence. community engagement also have We need a wider portfolio of optionsSo, what could we do to deliver better For example, current policy advice is to be prioritised from the outset and than the straightforward build-for salequality and quantity? First, I believe for higher density housing, yet recent managed so all stakeholders are model, with more skilled, pro-active,we need a far more sophisticated research questions the desirability of involved early enough in the process. confident and visionary professionalsand varied vision of what we want high density developments, showing involved in delivery. We also needto achieve. We need to lose the a correlation between density and Finally, we need to learn from places to focus our efforts on what works:obsession with finding one model of dissatisfaction with the area (Bramley and where higher quality and faster especially taking into account howsustainable living (see Guy and Marvin, Power, 2009). This type of evidence has housing delivery works. We need to people really want to live. We also1999). ‘Sustainable’ communities to be weighed against the strategic take note of what is happening in other need to press for higher quality builtcan be found in multiple guises, and benefits of higher densities in a far countries and see what is potentially environments, and to seek widercould include different urban forms, more considered way. Other new transferable (see Studdert, 2009; Falk and changes that move us towards thedesigns and scales. And crucially, we research challenges the conventional Hall, 2009). For example, in countries benefits of some the Europeanmust find more local solutions. This wisdom on sustainable neighbourhood such as Germany and Sweden delivery models. 15
SIMON MAUGER Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? Despite education policies that have when futures thinking feels a In a ‘prediction culture’ educators sought to ever more closely tie confirmatory exercise rather than an are politically contracted to adapt students’ educational experiences exploratory one; for futures thinking and modernise to prepare students to their future economic activities, is by definition a starting point, not for futures designed and decided there is in fact very little opportunity a means of setting out a repertoire elsewhere; discouraged from actively for students to meaningfully reflect of solutions. It is an ‘open process’, exploring the features of social or upon their individual and collective involving understanding the nature technological change historically futures in schools, colleges and of uncertainty, inclusive of allowing and in contemporary society. universities, and limited support for the qualitative and emotional drivers The education institution is no them to develop positive strategies as well as the quantitative and longer seen as a site within which for shaping and directing their future more rehearsed evidence. But we alternative ideas for the future can trajectories. Instead, young people’s have contemporary obsession with be shaped and generated. This is experiences of preparing for their quantitative indicators as opposed unhealthy both for the institutions futures may be characterised by to qualitative understanding and a and for the individual. careers guidance acknowledged prolonged focus on the quantitative as inadequate, and by pessimistic generates short-sightedness and With each new government, an visions of future catastrophe at a overbearing attention on the present alternative social future is presentedHealth, Wealth and Happiness global and societal level, resultingand Futures Thinking* in children overly optimistic about their chances of achieving fameWe live in uncertain times. In and fortune and overly pessimisticour internal worlds we are very and passive in the face of globalfamiliar with futures thinking - we concerns.plan our future, rehearse possiblesituations, and we develop internal More fundamentally, there isdialogues that can propose and argue ambivalence in our culture thatviewpoints. At a psychological level on one hand proposes high levelsthis is a very necessary and healthy of uncertainty (environmental,process. These are skills are closely social, economic), while suggestingassociated with our mental wellbeing paternalistic political models to beand our capacity to interface with in charge of solutions, if only wethe external world, nurturing and agree and comply. Futures thinkingapplying the strategies and tactics is misrepresented as being aboutthat we need to survive and flourish. prediction, prescribing ‘answers’ soMany therapies are essentially based that stakes can be claimed. The realon working to develop this capacity. empowerment of citizens actuallyBut to what extent does society, engaging with uncertainty is notand in particular education, assist us politically proposed as a matter fordevelop these skills, or indeed even mature citizen involvement. In thisacknowledge them? culture, we should be suspicious16
Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region?and with these future visions, strategies for responding to, of whatever age to understand * This Paper is both a summarynew responsibilities for education, shaping and adapting to socio- how best they might contribute of and development from askills and learning are proclaimed technical change? How do individually and collectively to Discussion Paper prepared for the- prepare ‘good citizens’, ensure we move beyond either naïve imagining, building and shaping ESRC Education Futures Seminarworkplace skills, teach sustainability. complacency or blind pessimism alternative futures for themselves, Programme 2010, co-authored byAnalysis of representations of the in building our understanding their communities and their planet. Professor Keri Facer, Professorfuture in policy, however, suggests about possible social futures So, to fully equip individuals Anna Craft, and Simon Mauger.that these future visions are more and education’s role in shaping to engage with their possiblelikely to be rhetorical than premised these? And how do we equip futures, to explore their currentupon thoughtful, democratic and individuals, institutions and situation and possible trajectories,considered examination of possible education systems to debate to rethink how their past leads tosocial change. The transformation of and create the desirable social their present, is a radical challenge‘the future’ into a rhetorical device and educational futures that to current temporal stances inin political discourse rather than an they may imagine? What we do education and for learning throughemergent reality of social change know at present is that in our life, but it is fundamental to thehas a number of implications: it culture there are limited external health, wealth and happiness oftreats the future as something that tools to support individuals our region.can be mobilised at will rather thana consequence of our contemporaryactions and decisions; it militatesagainst the careful questioning ofthe evidence and ideas used toinform these future visions; andit discourages examination of thediversity (or more often, uniformity)of voices involved in producing ideasof the future. In short, it provides avery poor basis for any attempts toplan or prepare us for the complex,contested and uncertain futures wewill undoubtedly have.How might those concerned witheducation and learning through lifecontribute to developing thoughtfulengagement with future possibilities?How do we draw on the lessonslearned from our existing researchtraditions to enhance education’scapacity for developing informed 17
JONATHON PORRITT CBE Health, Wealth and Happiness: what makes a prosperous region? of the British economy will not only address issues such as climate change and peak oil, but it will also support the development and growth of completely new industries and, with that, new investment and new jobs. Let us just take a look at one feature of this process, the campaign to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes (often referred to as “The Great British Refurb”), which some commentators predict will become the UK’s largest single engineering project since the Second World War. Our homes are responsible for around 27% of the country’s carbon emissions; and all the main political parties now acknowledgePractically realising prosperity that action to improve the energy the regional economy of the South renewal of our poorest communities efficiency of existing housing is an West have been undermined and we MUST prepare!For society to prosper there is a essential component of the nation’s rendered less resilient by the collapserole for government in supporting strategy to meet our carbon reduction of its manufacturing base. But here, Our government and its agents,communities and addressing the commitments. with the demand created by the desire (including the banks....we own themevil of poverty. to improve over 25 million existing and as a result we find ourselves Predictions based on the experience homes, we are in serious danger of in a once-in-a-lifetime position toOne of the most important of our neighbours in Europe, creating a new manufacturing ‘sector’. influence their investment policies)features of a modern and resilient particularly the Germans, who are must respond with a concertedeconomy is its ability to provide now eighteen years into a serious Clearly this is a major opportunity, strategy designed to supportaccess to sustainable, properly ‘retrofit’ of their housing stock, a real example of how the recovery business and ensure this programmepaid employment. In the past, a indicate that such a programme is from this current recession can be is supplied with the resources itlegitimate criticism of a great deal likely to create over 200,000 jobs. Add genuinely ‘green’. However these requires. In addition we must alsoof green politics has been that it to this the potential benefits that new, things don’t happen by themselves. respond with investment to developignored this essential requirement, cheap sources of energy will bring In order to ensure that the UK and the skills and knowledge of theand I believe this has undermined to the significant proportion of the the South West does benefit from workforce, not only targeting existingthe ability of green campaigners to UK population who are experiencing this opportunity and, perhaps more industries, but also unemployedappeal to the core of British opinion. problems heating their homes. This importantly from a sustainable people and those communities is amazing! development point of view, in order to who have faced exclusion from theToday, I am very happy to say, things ensure that those benefits contribute employment opportunities of the pasthave changed; the decarbonisation There is little doubt that the UK and to the sustainable regeneration and few decades.18
BIBLIOGRAPHY ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSGabriel Scally Katie Williams Many thanks to the speakers Front cover and conferenceBerry, T. (2003). The Mystique of Bramley G and Power S (2009) who gave presentations and/or photography by James Hembrow,the Earth. Caduceus, Spring 2003 www.CityForm.org; CABE (2009) who took part in panel debates at this Captured Studios(Issue 59). Should Build Our Homes?, CABE 2009; conference, and especially those www.captured-studios.co.ukCommission on the Measurement CLG (2007) Eco-Towns prospectus, who contributed to this report.of Economic Performance and www.communities.gov.uk; Conference design bySocial Progress. (2009). Report CLG, (2007) Homes for the Future, Thank you also to the sponsors Room 7 Advertising & Designby the Commission on the www.communities.gov.uk; DEFRA listed at the front of this publication www.room7 .uk.comMeasurement of Economic (2006) Sustainable Communities: A for their support.Performance and shared agenda, a share of the action, Special thanks to Paul BrownSocial Progress. TSO, Norwich; Falk N and Hall P (2009) The event programme, session (SW Public Health Observatory) andMarmot, M. (2010). Fair Society,Healthy Lives - The Marmot Why not Here? Town and Country Planning, Jan.; Falk N (2008) Beyond SW SW summaries andSOUTH WEST OBSERVATORY from presentations SOUTH WEST OBSERVATORY the day are available to view or SPONSORS Dominic Murphy (Creating Excellence)Review. The Marmot Review.Ura, K. (2008). Explanation Eco-towns: The Economic Issues, URBED; Falk N (2008) Making Eco- SPONSORS download from www.swo.org.uk/ events/conference-2010 Published August 2010 SWO Core Unitof GNH Index. Retrieved Towns work: Developing Vathorst,une 10th, 2010, from Gross Amersfoort NL; Guy S and MarvinNational Happiness - The Centre S (1999) Understanding Sustainablefor Bhutan Studies: www. Cities: Competing Urban futures,grossnationalhappiness.com/ European and Regional Studies, Vol.6,gnhIndex/intruductionGNH.aspx No.3, pp. 268-275; ODPM (2003)WHO Collaborating Centre for Sustainable Communities Plan, www.Healthy Cities and Urban Policy communities.gov.uk; Studdert (2009);and South West Regional Public Williams K (2010) Sustainable Cities,Health Group. (2008). South research and practice challenges,West England Freiburg Study International Journal of UrbanTour, Summary Record and Photo Sustainable Development, 1(1);Report. Williams, K, Lindsay, M, Dair, C (2009)World Health Organization. (1946). Neighbourhood Design and sustainablePreamble to the constitution of Lifestyles, in Jenks M and Jones Cthe World Health Organiszation Dimensions of the Sustainable City,as adopted by the International Springer. Williams and Lindsay (2007)Health Conference, New York, 19- The Extent and Nature of Sustainable22 June, 1946. WHO. Building in England: An Analysis of Progress, Planning theory and Practice, 8(1), pp 27-45; Williams K and Dair C (2007) What is Stopping Sustainable Building in England? Barriers Experienced by Stakeholders in Delivering Sustainable Developments
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