Brits believe onus on them to make better places to live

The research looked at the attitudes of more than 1000 people towards the social, environmental and economic factors that affect community life in Britain.

Its release coincides with the end of "Urban 2020", a national competition that invited university students to share their vision of how the UK’s communities could be more "connected" in the future and be better adept at dealing with changing demographics and climate change.

Other research findings include:
* Virtual reality trumps "real" reality. Nearly a third (28%) of the respondents felt more part of a virtual online community than a physical one;
* "Green space" and education top the league. Nearly 70% rated the amount of green space available in their communities as good or very good, and 59% rated schools in the same way. Affordable housing and community centres, however, scored lower, with just 5% of the respondents rating them as very good.
* "Green" steals economy’s thunder. More people think that environmental issues (32%) are top of the council’s agenda, than "economic" (25%) or social (19%) ones.
* Community facilities and good shops off the radar. People want to live in affordable, attractive places with large amounts of green space and low crime rates. Of less concern are community facilities or good local shops.
* Downturn will forge greater community spirit. Nearly a quarter agreed or strongly agreed the sense of community would improve as a result of the economic downturn.

Neil Crockett, director of Public Sector Operations at Cisco UK and Ireland, said: "Today, more than half the world’s population lives in urban areas, and this phenomenon is set to rapidly increase.

"Cities consume 75% of the world’s energy and are responsible for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. We need an architecture that boosts productivity, spurs economic growth, supports environmental sustainability, and enhances the quality of life in urban environments."

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