Social Life, University of Reading and Berkeley Group

Year of publication: 2015

Social sustainability describes the extent to which a neighbourhood supports individual and collective well-being. This report attempts to create a framework by which to measure social sustainability, with a focus on the design of new residential developments. Four case studies are included, all developments by the Berkeley Group, who commissioned the work. Affordable housing formed 30%-50% of the homes in the case study developments.

The physical environment, including amenities and social infrastructure, is an important influence on how the people who live in and use a space relate to each other and function as a community. Residents of the places examined in this study were asked a range of questions about their feelings on belonging, local community and empowerment.

The study findings revealed that new developments can equal the levels of resident wellbeing and engagement as more established communities in a relatively short space of time. Its measurement framework organises the important factors into four core dimensions: social and cultural life; voice and influence; amenities and infrastructure; and change in the neighbourhood.

Content type: Culture

Tags: Report

Creating Strong Communities: How to Measure the Social Sustainability of New Housing Developments

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