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SIA in the UK – From tick box to ticked for success

June 06, 2022

By Juliet Clark

Juliet Clark outlines the ongoing evolution of Social Impact Assessment (SIA) practice in England, in IEMA's latest Impact Assessment Outlook Journal

SIA is an essential element in designing and building places for people, but it needs improvement. Little time is spent understanding who will be in new developments, adjacent communities and complexities of their daily schedules. Most developments focus on buildings and landscape rather than creating community networks and establishing social capital.

But perhaps the future of SIA looks bright?

As Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) becomes part of everyday corporate consciousness, it is piquing interest levels, and the SIA industry is expanding. Its new cousin – social value – brings increased focus on quantitative accounting alongside traction and assessment opportunities. But in the future SIA should not exclude qualitative reporting, as not everything is measured in monetary terms. Social value adds to the family of social assessments that include Health and Equality Impact Assessments.

Time and investment into SIA are increasing. It deserves a place as an integral part of the design and build process, which Juliet hopes will help create successful places for people, not simply buildings and landscape. If we do not know what people are likely to need, how do we know what to build and how to shape our communities?

Read the full article in IEMA's Impact Assessment Outlook Journal

  • Juliet Clark

    With 20 years of consulting in health, social and economic assessment, strategic site development research and planning, and inclusive design for accessibility, Juliet works with developers and technical leads to minimise impacts on communities.

    Contact Juliet
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