"Where are the people?"

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Social sustainability is overlooked in mainstream sustainability debates. What does it take to create new communities that work socially, as well as economically and environmentally?

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"Where are the people?"

  1. 1. “Where are the people?”Tricia Hackett & Saffron Woodcraft -Future Communities at the Young FoundationPresentation to Eco-Towns Development Group23 June 2011
  2. 2. About the Young Foundation• Named after Lord Michael Young, called “the world‟s most successful entrepreneur of social enterprises” and co-author of Labour‟s 1945 election manifesto.• Our core work is researching social needs and developing practical and innovative solutions to address them. We have a 55-year track record in innovation in areas including health, education, ageing, communities, and families.• Responsible for starting scores of successful ventures and organisations including the Open University, NHS Direct and Which? Magazine.
  3. 3. The great challenge of the 21st century:mastering ecological and social design
  4. 4. “Social sustainability is largelyneglected in mainstream sustainabilitydebates … “ Manzi et al, Social Sustainability in Urban Areas: Communities, Connectivity and the Urban Fabric, 2010
  5. 5. “Positive planning: a new focus on drivingsustainable development”“Focus on „keeping vital environmental protections‟is to become cornerstone of more streamlinedplanning system” DCLG, 15 June 2011
  6. 6. What is a community?The mainstream view• Governance• Social and Cultural• Housing & the built environment• Economy• Environmental• Services• Transport & ConnectivitySource: Egan Review: skills for sustainable communities, 2004
  7. 7. Our starting point: an alternative view• Physical boundaries to promote geographical identity• Rules and laws specific to the area, e.g. car free areas• Local myths & stories• Visible leadership• Strong social relationships, networks & bonds• Rituals and rhythms• Possibly shared belief system, e.g. garden cities, new towns, eco-cities
  8. 8. Amenities and Social Infrastructure Amenities AND support services in place early in life of new community – emphasis on schools, social spaces, transport & community workers Social and Cultural Life Shared spaces, collective activities and social architecture to foster local networks, belonging and community identity Voice and Influence Governance structures to represent future residents and engage new ones in shaping local decision-making and stewardship Space to Grow Flexible planning; housing, infrastructure & services that can adapt over-time; meanwhile use of buildings and public spaceFigure 1: Illustration of Design for Social Sustainability Framework, Young Foundation, 2011
  9. 9. 1. Social infrastructure•Need for services andsupport, not just buildings•Early provision is crucial•Lack of social infrastructureaffects community wellbeing•Identity and reputation
  10. 10. 2. Social and cultural life• Community identity &belonging• Tolerance, respect,engagement• Pro-social behaviour• Good design supportingsocial life
  11. 11. 3. Voice & influence• Giving voice and influenceat the planning stage• Shaping opportunities forinfluence• Maintaining structuresand initiatives for the longterm
  12. 12. 4. Space to grow• New communities evolve slowlyas social networks develop &populations age & shift• Master-planning needs to beflexible and adaptable• New communities need flexibleuse of land & buildings• Informal spaces & temporaryuses should be encouraged• Local engagement &governance structures also needtime to develop
  13. 13. •How can developers and agenciesanticipate what future residents willneed?•Who can represent these views?•What kind of governance structuresare appropriate?
  14. 14. HafenCity, Hamburg•Large-scale new residential &commercial quarter•Uses principles ofenvironmental psychology toensure it becomes a placewhere people will want towork and play Photo: Spiegel Online, 2010
  15. 15. Photo: Spiegel Online, 2010
  16. 16. “You can‟t have a totally structuredplace and then just expect people to fitin … but nor will it work if everything istotally open to interpretation.” Marcus Menzl, sociologist, HafenCity
  17. 17. Lessons from City Nord“The architecture wasaward winning – butthe lifestyle? There‟smore going on at localcemeteries.” SPIEGEL, 2010 Photo: Spiegel Online, 2010
  18. 18. “Research has been going on for fiveyears now. It is a learning processwith no blueprint.” Jurgen Bruns-Berentelg HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, 2010
  19. 19. Arkwright Town Relocation•Forced relocation of Plaque to commemorate the site of former Arkwright Town100-year old village•Study highlightsimportance of place inindividual identity•Five factors that canfacilitate development ofemotional attachment (The contributor of this photos is Peter Barr)
  20. 20. The AVDC commissionedresearch on what lessonscan be learnt about theexperience of settling in anew community forresidents; and how can thoselessons be transferred to Buckingham Park, Aylesbury ,Valeother new developments?
  21. 21. Transferable Lessons•Early provision of infrastructure•Informal governance andparticipations structures 3,000 new homes to be built at Berryfields, Aylesbury Vale•Using temporary ‘meanwhilespace’ to address short term needs,priorities and interests•Creating forums for informationand exchange•Space to grow (e.g. communityallotments, sufficient schools places)
  22. 22. What does this mean in practice?
  23. 23. Choosing the right structure•Clear purpose: •Engagement, voice, influence or social capital? •Representative or participative structure? •Voice or real power – devolved budgets? •Resident seats on multi-agency partnership? •Time-limited and action focused? •Long-term growth and development?
  24. 24. Our challenges• Put people first - change the way places are planned,designed, built and managed• Synthesise & integrate thinking about socialsustainability - to professional practice across allagencies and stakeholders involved in creating new citiesand communities•New financial models – change the focus on short termreturns and focus on long term stewardship
  25. 25. For more information about Future Communitiescontact:saffron.woodcraft@youngfoundation.orgtricia.hackett@youngfoundation.org
  26. 26. About the Young FoundationThe Young Foundation brings together insight, innovation andentrepreneurship to meet social needs.We have a 55-year track record of success with ventures such as theOpen University, Which?, the School for Social Entrepreneurs andHealthline (the precursor of NHS Direct).We work across the UK and internationally – carrying out research,influencing policy, creating new organisations and supporting othersto do the same, often with imaginative uses of new technology.www.youngfoundation.org

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