“Social life” a research centre and innovation about communities

We believe that creating places that support local people, which are socially sustainable, matters as much as creating places that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

Our work is about understanding how peoples’ day-to-day experience of local places is shaped by the built environment – housing, public spaces, parks and local high streets – and how change, through regeneration, new development or small improvements to public spaces, affects the social fabric, opportunities and wellbeing of local areas.

We bring these insights to the process of planning, designing and managing places by working with communities, built environment professionals, public agencies and governments, in the UK and internationally.

Social Life is a social enterprise, created by the Young Foundation in 2012, to become a specialist centre of research and innovation about the social life of communities. Social Life builds on the ground-breaking work of two leading social thinkers: Michael Young, sociologist and social entrepreneur who established the Institute of Community Studiesin 1954 to bring social research to post-war urban planning; andProfessor Sir Peter Hall, one of the world’s most respected and widely-published thinkers about urban planning and former Senior Research Fellow at the Young Foundation.

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