Good Practice in creating sustainable communities Identify a leadership body: Whether the Local Authority, land owner or a joint venture, a single body must lead the delivery of the new community. • Early involvement of those bodies responsible for the provision of transport links, roads, schools, shops, hospitals and shared facilities like a community centre and green spaces can help improve the design and ultimate success of new developments • Early engagement of the Highways Agency (when appropriate) and local highways authority can make a difference to the process of planning and delivering high quality infrastructure and connectivity. • Making the public realm available early in a new development is crucial for the community. The spaces between buildings form a sense of place that often outlasts the changes in the buildings themselves. • An iconic community building, a ‘magnet’ for the local community, should also be provided early to foster a sense of community and engagement. • Transparent explanations of the costs and benefits of the new houses should be made available to all new residents whether tenants or homeowners. • Involving members of the existing community can add value to a new development if it is done effectively. • On large, strategic sites, local authorities should encourage developers to set a minimum percentage of the site to be set aside for self-build, co-housing and smaller developers to raise quality and promote competition. Masterplans should include this mix and as Garden City policies are developed, they should also address this diversity.
“A new neighbourhood will not necessarily succeed with good design alone. There must be a level of ‘buy-in’ and participation, especially where sustainability targets imply some measure of lifestyle change. Every shared amenity at Derwenthorpe, from the public space and landscaping to the community heating, has to be managed and managed fairly in everybody’s interest... The key is to implement governance and community structures in ways that promote ownership and sharing. These structures have to be backed up by a clear statement of aspiration and common purpose rather than a set of prohibitive dos and don’ts.” Richard Partington (architect for Derwenthorpe)
108_ http://www.newlistener.co.uk/home/oh-hamptoncommunity-centre-build/ 109_ Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods, M. Carley, N. Falk and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2012 110_ Homes for Wales: A White Paper for Better Lives and Communities, Welsh Government, May 2012