Staple Hill

What connects locality to happiness ?  What could change in our neighbourhoods to increase our share of happiness ?  The Staple Hill case study will be working with residents to see if we can find some answers to these deceptively simple questions. Our study will look at different ways in which specific physical features within the Staple Hill area of Bristol succeed, or fail, to enable residents to be happy. Staple Hill, while typical of many of the areas of the city, has been chosen for our study as representing a type of neighbourhood that is often under-researched.


Our exploration will consider the effect of neighbourhood on two forms of happiness: happiness can come from enjoyable sensations and positive emotions, but can also come from realising our full potential and achieving the best that we are capable of.


Local residents of Staple Hill will be asked to lead the researchers on guided walks of the neighbourhood, pointing out features in their surroundings that influence their level of happiness. This is in line with one of the basic principles of Urban ID: to draw upon the experience and expertise of the city’s inhabitants.


Workshops will also be used to gather information. One of these will include interested parties with responsibility for, or interest in, Staple Hill’s built environment.  Another workshop will draw on the opinions and expertise of people who have a particular interest in happiness. One of the aims of the workshops will be to understand how the other Urban ID themes, (of mobility and accessibility, carbon neutral city and inclusion and equality), interact with people’s happiness in the area.


This case study is an original attempt to examine everyday elements of our city surroundings to work out how they inspire happiness or unhappiness. We hope this information will give us evidence that we could use to solve urban problems in other areas.

Latest Updates

Staple Hill blog

The Staple Hill Case study is now in a write-up phase. Findings have been fed back to residents and authorities in Staple Hill. Responses have been positive and our findings seem to ‘ring true’ with those who have heard them so far. In our findings we focus on themes that we found to be relevant […]

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The Staple Hill blog – May

Michael and I recently visited Staple Hill to further define and contextualise our study. We visited during a Friday morning/lunchtime. What stood out most to us, as we walked the neighbourhood and stopped in a café, was just how many older people were out walking in the ward at that time of day. We encountered […]

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Staple Hill workshops

The Staple Hill team is currently planning and organising our first workshop. Preparing for a workshop is a multifaceted process: There are practicalities to take care of: Pens, flip charts, food for attendees. There is the venue for the workshop. Ours will be in Staple Hill library, to be convenient to older residents living in […]

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