Summarising the evidence on place value and environmental outcomes

Evidence on the relationship between the environment and quality of place relies on a mix of natural and social scientific data with the evidence pointing to multiple environmental benefits. Better place quality delivers:

  • Reduced energy use and associated carbon (greenhouse gas) emissions: through the creation of urban forms that need less heating and cooling and that lead to less private (vehicle) travel
  • Adaptive reuse: buildings, spaces and urban infrastructure that is adaptable over time and more able to support the changing needs of society within the existing built fabric (and its embodied energy)
  • A viable local exchange network: with local facilities, amenities and employment opportunities reducing the need to travel further afield and supporting local economic and social resilience
  • Reduced heat stress and enhanced thermal comfort: particularly for pedestrians through greater greening and shading in urban areas
  • Reduced waste: through a lower demand for construction materials and a reduction in construction waste
  • Reduced pollution: including atmospheric pollution and noise pollution (with knock-on health and wellbeing benefits)
  • Greater resilience: through accommodating and managing hydrological cycles and working with (rather than against) natural phenomena
  • Ecological diversity: Through supporting a greater diversity of species and a greener built environment.