Community Freshview
Bringing people together to make places look great

What is the problem?

Evidence suggests that when places look dirty people are more likely to litter and engage in anti-social behaviours. Conversely improving the visual appearance of places may lead to people behaving better as environmental norms suggest that places are looked after. However street cleansing is becoming increasingly expensive.

What was the solution?

Community Freshview is a community-led local environment rejuvenation scheme delivered by Lambeth Council’s Environmental Services and Highways team.  The scheme uses community capacity building principals to support residents in improving their local environment.  Residents and community groups develop plans for improving a space, recruit volunteers through door knocking and leafleting and conduct activities to improve the space over a weekend with the support of Council.  Activities include litter picking, painting, weeding, tidying up overgrowth, building planter boxes and brightening up the area to make it attractive and safe.  

Therefore Keep Britain Tidy worked with Lambeth Council to test if Community Freshview had an impact on littering behaviour.

What were the results?

There is evidence that Community Freshview has a positive impact on cleanliness at the sites. There was an improvement in cleanliness at both Russell’s Footpath and Lansdowne Hill immediately following the events and this was maintained in the final survey at the sites two months later.

The Community Freshview events appear to have contributed towards improved attitudes towards litter amongst survey respondents.  

The scheme has contributed to the building of community capacity at the event locations, and the public perceptions surveys found a significant improvement in people’s sense of pride towards their local area. Finally the Community Freshview events appear to have had a significant influence on participants’ sense of health and wellbeing.  For example, participant interviewees highlighted the social aspect of the events, their strong sense of achievement towards the improvements, their enjoyment of participation, the physical activity, being outdoors and feeling useful as key personal benefits of their involvement.

Taking Community Freshview further

If funding can be found Keep Britain Tidy would like to support the role out of Community Freshview in other areas of London and beyond commencing in the summer of 2015.