Children, young people and the built environment - Levelling Up Committee launches inquiry
15 November 2023
The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has today launched an inquiry looking at how better planning and building and urban design in England could enhance the health and well-being of children and young people.
- Inquiry: Children, young people and the built environment
- Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee chair, Clive Betts MP, said:
“It’s important for children and young people’s mental and physical health that they have access to spaces to play and to socialise.
“In our inquiry, we want to find out more about how children and young people experience outdoor spaces in towns, cities and rural areas across England. What policy interventions from local and central government could help to deliver streets, estates, villages, neighbourhoods and parks that enable kids to enjoy active outdoor lifestyles and engage with others?
“Planning and development should not be indifferent to the interests of young people. Stories of developers disregarding promises to deliver earmarked spaces for children highlight flaws in the current approach to the built environment. The Committee’s inquiry will want to examine how children’s needs are being met by the current planning process.
“We’re keen to hear from urban planners, charities, children’s rights groups, health professionals, councils and others about the examples of policy and good practice across the country which are improving experiences for children and young people.”
The Committee’s inquiry on the built environment, principally concerning landscape architecture and urban planning, will look at local and national government planning policies, guidance and delivery.
Terms of reference
Evidence sessions for this inquiry are likely to begin in Spring 2024.
Children, young people and the built environment – inquiry terms of reference
The Committee welcomes written evidence on the terms of reference outlined below.
The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 2 January 2024.
The experiences of children and young people of their built environment
- How do children and young people experience outdoor spaces in towns, cities and rural areas across the country? For example, their streets, estates, villages, neighbourhoods and parks?
- How do these experiences vary across income, race, gender, age?
- How easily can children and young people travel to outdoor spaces and schools? How has this changed over the years?
The planning system
- How well are children and young people’s needs currently met by the planning process in terms of policy and guidance?
- How are children and young people’s views and voices heard, considered and acted upon in the planning system if at all?
Best practice and evaluation
- Where are the examples of policy and good practice that are improving children and young people’s experiences in the built environment, either directly or indirectly, in the UK or internationally?
- How are these outcomes measured? For example, through economic or health and wellbeing indicators?
Cross Government working
- How does the relationship of children and young people with the built environment overlap with policy areas beyond the work of DLUHC, such as public health, transport, policing and net zero?
- Are government departments working together to address children and young people’s needs in this respect?