Harlow and Gilston Garden Town launch Quality of Life project

Business / Wed 6th Jul 2022 am31 09:45am

HARLOW and Gilston Garden Town are teaming up with independent charity, the Quality of Life Foundation, for a summer of online and face-to-face community engagement that will give local people a chance to shape the future area.

Launching on Friday 15 July and funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Your Quality of Life project will place local people centre stage, giving everyone the opportunity to comment via an interactive map about their own wellbeing and day-to-day lives, from local nature and travel to health and community. 

Information collected by the Quality of Life Foundation over the 12-week project will not only influence how plans are taken forward by the Garden Town’s five council partners but underpin future work around design, community development and the long-term management of public assets.

The Your Quality of Life project and engagement programme will also be reviewed by Central Government as they look to make the planning process more democratic and accountable via digital innovation.

Joining Quality of Life Foundation as partners on the project are Rainbow Services, who will be ensuring maximum participation in communities across Harlow, Gilston and surrounding areas, as well as data analytic leaders, Stantec, and citizen engagement website, Commonplace.

“Funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Homes and Communities is allowing us to break the mould of how local people can influence changes in their area with the Your Quality of Life project,” commented Garden Town Director, Naisha Polaine, on behalf of the five council partners. 

“It means we can be innovative in not only speaking with residents and businesses in the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town area but in collating and analysing the results as well.

“Young or old, everyone’s life experiences will count and contribute to how the local area grows and develops over time, so this project is a real landmark moment. 

“And what makes it even more special is that the project takes place throughout Harlow’s 75th anniversary celebrations this summer.

“Harlow was a real pioneer when Sir Frederick Gibberd put together the New Town and our aim is to ensure that Harlow & Gilston Garden Town not only captures that same spirit and aspiration but is back on the map as a place known for great housing and tremendous job opportunities.”

Quality of Life Foundation Director, Matthew Morgan, explained why his charity had been chosen by Harlow & Gilston Garden Town for the soon-to-be-launched engagement: “We are committed to giving residents a greater sense of control over what they value and need in their local area, to affect the way government and industry approach housing and communities. 

“Taking a long-term approach based on improving people’s health and wellbeing will lead to more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable neighbourhoods, a vision shared by the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town council partners.”

Andy Porter, Head of Digital & Innovation, at Stantec, added: “We’re thrilled to be working with Quality of Life Foundation on this important initiative to increase and diversify engagement within Harlow & Gilston Garden Town’s community as it will help shape future places and spaces that will be designed with that community in mind. 

“Our approach focuses on using data to drive better insights into the needs of our communities, and we look forward to analysing these needs to help the Garden Town council partners create safe, healthy, and functional surroundings.”

Ahead of the Friday 15 July launch, people can register their interest in taking part in Your Quality of Life by visiting: https://qolmap.commonplace.is

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8 Comments for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town launch Quality of Life project:

Kim Oconnor
2022-07-06 09:59:21

It amazes me how you councils talk about quality of life, and well-being. When all your doing is taking all this away from people. You don't listen to public opinion s, because you never listened to the 6,000 signatures against the trashing of the river stort. Your plans for Harlow are not what sir Frederick Gibberd wanted, he built this town with green spaces in mind, how do I know, because my father helped build this town. You will go a head with your plans no matter what people think, trashing our green spaces in abundance. So please don't talk to us about well-being, and quality of life.

2022-07-06 10:22:05

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, oh I do think I just pooped myself!

Person A
2022-07-06 13:50:29

@Kim - 6,000 signatures represents just 6.4% of Harlow. Meaning, overwhelmingly, 93.6% of Harlow either want the crossings, or don't care enough to oppose it. Objectively, the council is listening to public opinion.

Kim Oconnor
2022-07-06 17:40:54

Person A, a lot of people still do not know what will happen to the river. Of course your get people that don't care, theses councils don't care. If they did , they would not of let this monstrosity go through. No there not listening, they don't give a flying fig about public opinion s. It's all about greed .

2022-07-07 09:49:51

I agree [email protected] how can building a huge estate and then a road through and over the river basin be quality of life. We need this land not just for its beauty and wildlife but also for agriculture. As we are finding out now due to the war in Ukraine we are heavily dependent on grain/food imports and we are not self sufficient. We need to stop building on farm land and start growing again.

2022-07-07 14:57:58

Most people in Harlow do not realise the critical importance of the Stort Valley to our wellbeing, to wildlife and most significantly that the needless building of the Eastern Crossing, a road along the bottom of the Valley will increase the risk of flooding and sewage discharges flooding homes in Harlow. The river and valley needs more TLC not more pollution, farmers pointed out that crops and livestock have been seriously affected and the failures of hggt and the local councils to use other more environmentally and people friendly and less costly options means flood plain will be lost rather than increased to match the size of the hggt development. Many of the 96% are too busy earning a living and raising children and rely on Councillors to act in their best interests unfortunately it may not be until the flood water laps at their front doors that they will realise this trust was misplaced. A last point the river is a rare chalk stream and above the chalk aquifer, water is extracted for drinking and Thames Water doesn't remove some potent chemicals from the water they take out. It's disingenuous of hggt's to greenwash their project .

Kim Oconnor
2022-07-08 09:14:00

Perfectly put as allways, nosradamus.

Kim Oconnor
2022-07-08 09:15:03

Well said nosradamus.

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