Infrastructure And Quality Of Life – A Paper By The National Infrastructure Commission

How we feel, live and work is influenced by our built and natural environment. This includes housing, energy and digital connectivity.

The Centre contributed to the study of the relationship between infrastructure and wellbeing. National Infrastructure Commission’s Quality of Life Discussion Paper. We shared our knowledge of how policy areas and sectors can affect national wellbeing as part of the advisory group. This was based on our sector expertise and evidence reviews.

Nancy Hey, Executive Director of the National Wellness Foundation, takes us through this paper and explains how frameworks for wellbeing can be used to maximize impact on national wellbeing.

It is available in its Discussion paperThe Commission defines quality life as “how happy or satisfied people feel about their lives.” This encompasses a variety of interrelated factors that operate at all levels, including the community, national, and individual.

Framework for measuring quality of life

The Commission decided to evaluate its impact on multiple domains, as the relationship between infrastructure and quality life is intangible (figure 1).

Figure 1: A text graphic illustrating the impact of the Commission’s recommendations. Text: 1. Text reads: 1. 2. This results in an improvement of air quality... This improves mental and physical health... ...which enhances quality of your life.

Figure 1: The impact of the Commission’s recommendations. Source: National Infrastructure Commission, Quality of Life discussion paper

It has created a framework to map the outcomes of six of the 10 domains it has derived from the.
ONS Dashboard for Measures of National Wellbeing, Concentrating on domains directly related to infrastructure (table 1)

Table 1: The Commisson Quality of Life Domains. - Domain name Health; Definition: The impacts of infrastructure services upon physical and mental health. Relevant ONS domain(s). Health, Personal Wellbeing. - Domain name, Local and Natural Environments; Definition: The effects of infrastructure design on the local environment and natural environment. Relevant ONS domain(s),: Environment, Where are we now. Domain name: Connections. Definition: The physical connections, such as transport networks, and digital connections, (fixed and wireless broadband), that connect people, communities, and businesses. Relevant ONS domain(s). - Domain name, Affordability. Definition: The impact on the distribution of infrastructure costs that domestic consumers pay through bills and fares as well as the overall cost over time. Relevant ONS domain(s). Personal finance. - Domain name Comfort and convenience. Definition: The user's experience with infrastructure services, including the satisfaction that they provide. Relevant ONS domain(s). Personal well-being, Where we live. - Domain name is Employment. Definition: How infrastructure facilitates economic activity and thus access to jobs. Relevant ONS domain(s), What we do.

Table 1: Quality of Life Domains of the Commission. Source: National Infrastructure Commission, Quality of Life Discussion Paper

This framework will be applied by the Commission to all its future activities, including the second.
National Infrastructure Assessment This is expected to be completed in autumn 2023.

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It is possible to measure outcomes across multiple domains and understand how activity contributes towards national wellbeing. This is how we can help you understand the impact of activity on national wellbeing. Collaborate with local authorities to create local wellbeing frameworks Joanne Smithson, our Head of Implementation and Learning will lead the effort to create policies that maximize wellbeing.

Find out how to The Outcomes Measurement Framework for Canal & River Trust and Report It uses a similar framework and approach to create a solid evidence base and determine the positive impacts of its waterways on people and communities.

The key findings

Different ways infrastructure impacts the quality of life in Britain

  • The variation in the provision of services and the resilience to hazards are factors that contribute to variations in the quality of life in the UK. Access to clean water and health services, for example, is a key driver of physical well-being.
  • Good urban design and access to green spaces can all help improve the environment.
  • Poorly designed infrastructure can have negative effects on quality of life.

According to the The Happiness Index, UK areas with lower populations are associated with greater life satisfaction. Quarterly Wellbeing Estimates from ONS.

The Commission believes that improving quality of life means maximizing the benefits of infrastructure use and minimising its negative effects. This work is in line with the Levelling Up programme of the UK Government and aligns with the Commission’s goal to support sustainable economic growth in all regions of the UK.

Resilience: What is its role?

The Office for National Statistics’ definitions of well-being, which are used in the UK’s national wellbeing framework, include not only how we are doing, but also how sustainable it is. [wellbeing] It is for the future.”

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The following are the results. Capacity to overcome or recover from difficulties National wellbeing is dependent on it. This means that the Commission must design effective regulations and policies to ensure that infrastructure sectors are prepared for an uncertain future.

There are two ways to think about resilience:

  1. Everyday resilience – Short term events such as delays or cancellations in public transport that pose a temporary threat to people’s experience.
  2. Serious resilience is the ability to withstand large-scale events such as floods that can have long-lasting and significant impacts on your mental and physical health.

The Commission can increase the quality of people’s lives by fostering both resilience and infrastructure.

This is an example of such a strategy. Anglian Water’s assessment of flooding and roadworks impacts. These incidents were evaluated for their impact on customer subjective well-being. The estimates were then assigned a monetary value in order to validate and compare them with industry measures. This was part of a cost benefit analysis that will guide the company’s investment planning.

Do you want to learn more?

The Commission considers quality of life objectively as well subjectively.

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Quality of life can be described as being happy and functioning well.

What can you do next

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