The case for investing in social sustainability

This section draws together evidence and practical experience from a wide range of sources to make the case for the importance of social design in helping new communities to flourish, and the long term costs and consequences of not providing these supports. It covers four main themes: amenities and social infrastructure, social and cultural life, voice and influence and space to grow.

Ingredients

1. AMENITIES AND SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Social infrastructure and amenities are crucial to creating sustainable communities. Experience from the post-war New Towns to more recent new housing settlements has repeatedly shown that local services like schools, shops and public transport, are needed at an early stage in the life of new communities.

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2. SOCIAL AND CULTURAL LIFE

Good relationships between residents and a range of local activities - formal and informal - are key to thriving communities.

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3. VOICE AND INFLUENCE

Involving local communities in decisions that affect their lives throughout the stages of new developments is vital if public investment is to be effective.

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4. SPACE TO GROW

Adaptability is one of seven core objectives of urban design identified by CABE. If a new community is to be successful and sustainable, the place - the physical space, the amenities and the social infrastructure - needs to be able to adapt over time to new needs and new possibilities.

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