Living in new homes in Glasgow's regeneration areas
As part of our ongoing evaluation of the impacts of regeneration on people’s lives, this new report presents the findings from a qualitative study of the occupants of new build housing in two of Glasgow’s Transformational Regeneration Areas (Sighthill and Pollokshaws), looking at the extent to which different elements of the residential environment can support health and wellbeing.
The report shows how residents in both locations expressed appreciation of their homes, including having secure entrances, light and bright dwellings with large windows, warmth and cheaper energy, and larger kitchen/dining rooms. The main drawback of the homes was a lack of storage space and small-sized bedrooms, although having a spare bedroom was particularly beneficial for older residents.
Living in a newly built home was associated with several beneficial behavioural changes for some people including: cooking in their new kitchen and eating family meals around a dining table; improved social and family relations as a result of inviting friends over and having wider-family members to stay; coping with health conditions better; and ceasing smoking indoors – and in some cases reducing their level of smoking as a result.
In both locations, participants talked of friendly, cohesive, safe and supportive communities in the new developments, more so than they had experienced latterly in the high-rise flats. Knowing your neighbours from the estate previously aided this sense of community. But not all participants experienced these benefits with some feeling lonely and wanting more social contact both at home and elsewhere, including through employment. Thus, some occupants appear to need support which they do not currently access to help them make the most of moving to a new home.
Both locations benefited from having nearby supermarkets or main shopping streets, but both also lacked facilities in the immediate vicinity such as cafés, local shops, a post office and children’s play areas. These absences were inconvenient, but were also noticed by residents because they reduced opportunities for casual social interaction within the community. Participants were hopeful that the regeneration process would replace some of what was missing in the areas, although knowledge of what was planned varied.
The report confirms the need for regeneration to be able to provide fully functioning neighbourhoods as part of the regeneration process within a reasonable period of time was evident from participants’ accounts of their daily lives in these newly built homes.