Home not Housing: Engaging with Wellbeing Outcomes: Final Report

Douglas Robertson, Deborah Peel, Beverley Searle, Thilo Kroll, James Mitchell, Rosemary Brotchie, Lisa Pattoni, Ian Watson, Martin Higgins

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report


    This project foregrounds individual understandings of home, neighbourhood and wellbeing. It does so in order to explore
    the many and varied ways individuals understand how their home, as well as the neighbourhood in which the home is located, contributes to their personal appreciation of wellbeing. To achieve this end an
    innovative ‘knowledge mobilisation’ approach was pursued which gave equal voice to all participants, through valuing the ideas and understandings they offered. Through utilising a series of carefully planned participatory exercises individuals were encouraged to share, discuss and debate these personal understandings, drawing from their knowledge, specialist skills, strengths and individual capacity. While most participants were drawn from professional backgrounds (embracing housing, planning, social work, public health, social care as well as design), it was their personal understandings of home, neighbourhood and wellbeing that were critical to this exercise. So those not possessing such professional baggage often found this to be to their advantage, given the levelling demanded through focusing primarily upon the personal. That said, trying to separate the professional from the personal often proved a challenging endeavour. What emerged from this work was a different ‘story’ which offers a unique contribution to personal understandings of wellbeing. We had argued in proposing this work the notion of home ‘could’ be at the heart of an emerging common vocabulary that helps to enhance public understanding of individual and community wellbeing. We now argue it ‘should’ be at the heart of that debate. The synthesis of diverse and varied interpretations of home offered by this project should help frame a public understanding of wellbeing, given that personal understandings of the home and neighbourhood are critical to an individual’s construction of what exactly constitutes wellbeing. So if wellbeing measures are to become core to the Scottish Government outcomes focused National Performance Framework (NPF), then the home and its neighbourhood need to be core to that measurement exercise. Adopting such an approach would, in turn, alter the architecture of current public policy given the way home and neighbourhood contribute to achieving personal wellbeing.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherScottish Universities Insight Institute
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


    • wellbeing, home, Scotland Performs


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