Community ingredients

Successful new communities will be built by a partnership of practitioners working with future and existing residents. Consideration of how the high quality of the new settlement will be maintained in the long term must influence the ways in which places and buildings are planned for and designed, and will benefit from the ongoing involvement of local people.

Ingredients

1. Residents in control: governance, engagement and accountability

New settlements provide a huge opportunity to govern communities differently - with residents in command of what happens locally.

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2. Early engagement of future and existing residents

The conversation between people who will live in the new settlements and those involved in building them should start well before the first brick is laid.

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3. Facilitating social networks

Communities where many residents have strong social links with others living nearby and where people are more likely to get involved in community orientated activities tend to be places with higher levels of resident wellbeing.

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4. Choosing a stewardship approach

Planning for the long term management or ‘stewardship' of an area has been found to contribute significantly to the popularity and success of new communities in the past.

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5. Community ownership and management of assets

Transferring assets, such as community centres or parks to local people can give communities a greater opportunity to shape the way these assets are run to ensure that they provide the maximum benefit to local people.

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6. Maintaining high quality public space

The quality of the local environment is a key element in what makes somewhere a good place to live.

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7. Promoting environmentally friendly behaviours

Meeting the UK's ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 will require some radical changes to the way we live.

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8. Achieving good design

New developments should provide communities with homes that are comfortable and well matched to their needs, and a public realm that is safe and inviting.

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9. Economic development

Economic sustainability is a key ingredient of the overall sustainability of communities.

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10. The role of the HCA and other community builders

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the government's agency established in 2008 to take over the functions of English Partnerships, the investment side of the Housing Corporation, some delivery functions of Communities and Local Government department and the Academy for Sustainable Communities. Additional functions for the HCA are proposed in the Localism Bill (2010).

 

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