Planning for well-being: a critical perspective on embedding well-being in community-led planning processes

Matthew Jones, Amanda Spence

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The Welsh Government?s Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 is a unique piece of legislation which embeds healthy and sustainable development into Wales? legislative framework. It commits 44 public bodies to improving social, economic, cultural and environmental well-being. The Future Generations Act introduces seven well-being goals and five ?ways of working?, creating a shared vision for these public bodies to work towards. Alongside this top-down approach, there is an emerging intent to increase engagement of local people and to support individuals and communities in sustaining and improving the quality of their health and well-being. However, at present the implementation of well-being agenda at community level is limited. This paper examines an innovative approach to bridge this gap and engage local people in considering the health and well-being of their communities, now and into the future. The Shape My Town community-led planning tool is designed to increase opportunities for local people to have a voice in the planning process through the creation of community-led Place Plans. Seen as a form of asset-based community development, the tool encourages communities to assess their place through a series of interlinked themes to build evidence for change. In this paper, the seven goals and five ways of working embedded in the Well-being Act are mapped against the tool before a case study of its implementation is presented. The sense of increased self-determination the process facilitates is linked to an increased sense of well-being, purpose and community cohesion (Deci and Ryan, 1985). However, questions are raised about the capacity of communities to deliver effective long-term change and the capacity of overburdened, under-resourced local authorities to help deliver on these aspirations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDesigning for Health & Wellbeing
    Place of PublicationDelaware, USA
    PublisherVernon Press
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)1-62273-512-9
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - Dec 2019

    Publication series

    NameThe Interdisciplinary Built Environment


    • Health
    • wellbeing
    • planning
    • community-led planning
    • Wales


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