200 years plus of large-scale planned new communities in the
UK but still relatively little known about what makes places
thrive and how to support social life of places.
The first question: what is a
Source: Egan Review 2004
An alternative view
• Physical boundaries to promote
• Local myths & stories
• Strong social relationships, networks &
• Rituals and rhythms
• Shared belief systems, garden cities,
new towns, eco-cities
• Visible leadership.
What is social sustainability?
“A process for creating sustainable, successful places that
promote wellbeing, by understanding what people need
from the places they live and work.
Social sustainability combines design of the physical
realm with design of the social world – infrastructure to
support social and cultural life, social amenities, systems
for citizen engagement and space for people and places
Source: Social Life (2012). Design for Social Sustainability: a framework for creating thriving
• Pic and v short description
We have developed a social sustainability
measurement framework for The Berkeley Group
Empire Square Imperial Wharf
Knowle Village The Hamptons
We have just finished a social sustainability toolkit
for Sutton Council in South London
Voice & inÁ uence Amenities & infrastructure Social & Cultural Life Adaptability & Resilience
Piloted in Beddington
New pilot starting now for Genesis Housing Association
in Shoreditch with Commonplace – collecting social
sustainability data from residents digitally.
We have learnt that social
• A valuable tool for thinking
differently about place
• Not fully covered by existing
• A way of bringing in concepts that
challenge conventional views
• Capable of being understood,
quantified & actioned
• An evolving field internationally.