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Research: Making spaces for play: on new suburban and town developments


New research shows that neighbourhood design influences how spaces within the community are used for playing and socialising. The study – Making spaces for play: on new suburban and town developments – by ZCD Architects and supported by the NHBC Foundation mapped seven housing developments across England.

As part of the study the researchers measured if homes had access to outside space, safe networks for walking or cycling and whether the layout of the community encouraged socialising.

The study found that children in housing developments that scored highly on the measuring exercises played outside, unsupervised for several hours, whilst the developments that scored lowest recorded no unsupervised outdoor play.

Neil Smith, NHBC Head of Standards, Innovation and Research said:

‘This pilot study puts forward an approach that could allow house builders to consider play at the earliest stages of design and opt for characteristics that can contribute to good social outcomes for communities.’

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