Neighbourliness + Empowerment = Wellbeing: Is there a formula for happy communities?

Published: June 2008

Authors: Geoff Mulgan , Mandeep Hothi, Dr Marcia Brophy, Nicola Bacon

Is there a formula for happy communities?

How does active citizenship contribute to the wellbeing of communities? This report, which is the first in a series of publications from the Local Wellbeing Project, tries to answer this question by investigating empowerment initiatives in three very different local authorities: Hertfordshire, Manchester and South Tyneside.

The report finds that neighbourhood and community empowerment has three effects which increase wellbeing:

• Providing greater opportunities for residents to influence decisions affecting their neighbourhoods
• Facilitating regular contact between neighbours
• Helping residents gain the confidence to exercise control over local circumstances

The report represents one of several strands of work developed through the Local Wellbeing Project. Others include work on parenting, environmental sustainability, emotional resilience for 11 to 13 year olds, wellbeing of older people and guaranteed apprenticeships.

Download a full pdf of the publication.