Richmond: The happiest ‘10-minute neighbourhood’ in London
Richmond has been in the news recently, and for good reason. This highly popular part of southwest London has been voted ‘the happiest place to live in London’ for the seventh consecutive year.
The Rightmove annual ‘Happy at Home’ Index was announced in November 2021 confirming Richmond as the happiest place to live in London and second nationally overall. An accolade that is already widely known by the residents of the borough and one that underlines why Richmond is an ideal place to live, especially as it’s so close to central London.
The Rightmove Index is an annual measurement of a series of factors, from the friendliness of the locals to the quality of local amenities and access to open green space.
Why is Richmond such a happy place to live?
Finding out how people feel about the place they live in became newsworthy in 2020 due to the pandemic. With people spending more time at home and only able to go out to exercise, amenities like green spaces and places to walk became a necessity. Suddenly people’s movements were restricted so places like Richmond, with its country village feel and open green spaces became more of a haven for residents than before.
Rightmove’s resident data property expert Tim Bannister said: “Overall, I think lockdown has enabled people to rediscover what’s on their doorstep and spending more time in their local areas has made people value their surroundings and communities so much more. “
Lots of the feedback Rightmove collected was about the sense of community in the area. Despite its proximity to central London, Richmond retains a unique atmosphere, combining the relaxed lifestyle of the countryside with the amenities and infrastructure of a great town.
Wellbeing and security are often cited as important by people when considering an area to move to. With Richmond’s low crime rates, good schools and the abundance of green open spaces, its no wonder people tend to stay here.
READ MORE: Take a look at our Richmond Area Guide for more information about the Richmond area and find out about the Parkgate team’s favourite places.
The ambition of a ‘10-minute neighbourhood’
“Richmond is one of those places that people tend to move to and then never leave,” says Barry May, chair of the Richmond Society. The Richmond Society has drawn up a manifesto addressing how the high street needs to adapt to changing retail trends. He goes on to say that the society wants to create a “10-minute neighbourhood” where everything that residents need is within a quick ten-minute walk.
It would be fair to say that this already exists for many residents of Richmond with many only moving a few streets to acquire a bigger home. May explained that one family with three children recently moved from a four-bedroom semi-detached house to a five-bedroom detached house two roads from Richmond Park.
Richmond vibrant town centre has seen new businesses arrive like Tapas Brindisa on Whittaker Avenue and there are several others planned too like an outlet of Scott’s of Mayfair the renowned seafood and fish restaurant. Amazon Local have opened one of their grocery stores in the former Foxton’s building next to the station and the former House of Fraser department store is being repurposed for the future with upmarket stores and new office space.
The focus on more sustainable communities increased significantly in 2021, with a heightened move towards shopping more locally and more often, rather than travelling to out-of-town retail sites. To support this switch, lifestyle businesses like restaurants, cafes and boutique independent retailers can reap the benefits for the need for more exciting local amenities.
A sustainable borough for the future
The local borough council have been working hard to create strategies that will make Richmond far more sustainable in the future. Their environment strategy sets out the boroughs plans for everything from water and air pollution to transport and waste management. Richmond Climate Week helped to demonstrate Richmond’s commitment to supporting the climate crisis and ran from 1st November 2021 to coincide with Cop26 in Glasgow and will run annually to help educate Richmond residents on ways to improve household sustainability.
These ambitious plans go a long way to support the Richmond Society’s ideal of a ’10-minute neighbourhood.’
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