This guide aims to promote deeper thought and greater flair from those entrusted with creating better Places to Live. Following on from last year's "By Design" - a guide to better urban design - Better Places to Live draws together the principles of good urban design as they relate to the residential environment to help move the practice of good design forward. Better places to live focuses on the attributes that underlie successful residential environments in order to provide guidance on implementing the new approach to planning for housing set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 (PPG3). Better Places to Live is based on a detailed examination of both historic and contemporary practice, drawing from a study of residential environments from across the country. What these places have in common is that they illustrate how better attention to good design can enhance the quality of life experienced in the environment of our homes. The guide highlights many examples of best practice in a wide range of areas. The lessons to be drawn from them are not unique to the locations where they are found. They have an application to all new housing development. Better Places to Live is a guide to better practice, not a pattern book. It aims to prompt greater attention to the principles of good design by promoting the development of attractive, sustainable and inclusive places that can be enjoyed by all the people who use them. This guide is essential reading for all involved in the planning, design and development of new housing.Where people live has a major effect on their life. If where they live is well-planned, well-designed and well managed, their quality of life is likely to be a great deal better than that of those who live elsewhere. "Better places to live" challenges local authorities and developers to think more imaginatively about design and layout. Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC, Minister for Housing, Planning and Regeneration.