Experience shows that a range of stakeholders – from local politicians and parishes, to developers and planners, and home buyers and renters – need to work together to change how we think about building new communities.

If developers can be persuaded to plan for the long term, if people buying and renting homes see the potential social value in neighbourly places, and if local agencies and politicians put resources and support into plans that enable new communities to thrive then the right conditions for social sustainability can be created.

Every development goes through a process from planning, to design, to construction, occupation and long term stewardship.

Creating the conditions for social sustainability at different stages in a development

Planning & design

Amenities & social infrastructure: think about relationship to existing infrastructure and resources, and how new facilities can be shared between existing residents and new residents

Social & cultural: make sure that neighbourhoods support social networks and neighbourliness, by creating high quality places to live and to socialise that foster belonging and wellbeing

Voice & influence: involve residents in design, think creatively about how to speak to likely future residents about what they may want in the future

Adaptability & resilience: try new approaches to design and masterplanning that boost social sustainability and allow for change in residents needs and wishes in the future

Sharing Bolsover Framework

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Heartlands Custom Build

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Commonplace, Purley

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Construction & occupation

Amenities & social infrastructure: make sure that social infrastructure is in place from the start

Social & cultural: build community and trust between existing communities and new residents – even where there is opposition to development

Voice & influence: enable residents groups and residents activism at the earliest phase

Adaptability & resilience: consider temporary uses and meanwhile uses to respond to changing needs at the early stages of occupation

Cooper’s Edge Trust

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Wellesley Aldershot

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Stanmore Place

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Long-term stewardship

Amenities & social infrastructure: think about local ownership and management of assets

Social & cultural: facilitate social networks, encourage residents to take control of spaces and activities

Voice & influence: plan for the long term management and look at different approaches and structures that have worked elsewhere

Adaptability & resilience: allow structures, facilities, use of space, and ways of communicating to change in response to new populations, new needs, and new technologies

Larkfleet Homes

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Lyde Green

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Springhill Co-housing

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View all of the case studies