Social: Intensification, Social Sustainability and the Public Realm

“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed”
William Gibson, 2003

How do we make cities work for everyone, regardless of the urban form? As we look to build more intense, denser places it is important to put people and their everyday experience at the centre of planning and design.

At the salon, we started off looking at ‘Future Londoners’ - fictionalised people who reflect a range of archetypes who inhabit our spaces and what they would need. We then asked salon participants what key actions could we design into a place that would help these people feel a strong sense of belonging, using a framework that looks at key societal elements such as family and friends, economy, power and politics, and neighbourhood and physical environment.
Next, we explored the elements needed to build a socially sustainable place for all, from amenities and social infrastructure to governance models to support residents’ sense of agency.

These two exercises are really useful in asking a critically important question:

How do we create places that make people feel at home, included and safe?

The salon concluded with the identification of ten tenets which support the creation of places that are socially sustainable.
Click here to see the salon participants