Social sustainability is a people centred approach that focuses on building spaces that respond to community needs and enhance wellbeing. Though there is not one agreed upon approach to measuring the economic impacts of social sustainability, there are a variety of assessments that aim to quantify the impact on the community through indicators such as employment generation, relative deprivation, access to education, and health of the population.


A socio-economic impact assessment, often a core component of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) at planning, is one assessment that can evaluate the effects of a development on existing and future communities. It does this through the process of evaluating the baseline conditions to form an understanding of the social, economic, and environmental conditions. Following this, the potential impacts of the development are analysed based on their potential significance. Mitigation and enhancement measures can then be proposed to ensure that the potential benefits of the development are maximised.


Assessing socio-economic impact requires a nuanced approach that will draw on our multi-disciplinary expertise to provide bespoke and relevant solutions. This can be applied in the following ways:

  • Assessing and evaluating the baseline conditions of the proposed site, using a breadth of sources, such as the Indices of Multiple Deprivation, Census data, and Business Register and Employment Surveys, to ensure a comprehensive understanding
  • Engaging with the design team to discuss key impact areas and mitigation of any potential negative impacts. This can include pre-app liaison with councils to carefully scope the assessment
  • Incorporating our wider knowledge of sustainability to ensure all recommendations are deliverable and work in tandem with the wider strategy


Our team have undergone Social Value training with Social Value UK to ensure that we can apply a robust methodology and devise strategies that put people and community at the forefront.