Tag Archives: masterplanning

Social sustainability: a framework for design integration

Framework for socially sustainable design – the Young Foundation (2011)

Social sustainability has long suffered from perceptions of it being  a somewhat “fluffy” addendum to urban design and masterplanning processes. So it is heartening to see a growing recognition of the positive impact of rigorous and systematic social planning and social impact assessment processes in the development of our urban environments. After all, what are successful places without people?

In this context, I’m excited about the publication of an excellent new report by the UK-based Young Foundation.

Design for Social Sustainability proposes a “framework for creating thriving new communities.” The esteemed Sir Peter Hall introduces the paper with references to the social cohesion questions that arose out of the recent London riots. He in part attributes this to the problematic aspects of environmentally-expressed social divides – an issue which is increasingly prescient in Sydney’s urban landscape. Social planning does not purport to solve such issues. But effective planning requires us to be fully conscious of them, if we are to enable the creation of communities that will endure – and indeed thrive – for generations to come.

The framework proposed through the Foundation’s report (pictured) offers some excellent food for thought for planners, social planners, urban designers, architects, approvals bodies and all those in professions whose work will directly impact on the liveability of our urban environments. This paper is well worth a close read.

 

Delfin Lend Lease’s Nelsons Ridge – a class act

Homes are nestled in high quality landscaping

Just back from a site visit at Delfin Lend Lease’s Nelsons Ridge in Pemulwuy in Sydney’s west.  Very impressed.

The scheme features excellent urban design; high quality architecture from housing developers Cosmopolitan and Axis; riverside walking and cycle paths, and an abundance of recreational open space and native vegetation.

The masterplanning of the scheme - including detached houses, attached townhouses and apartments – is designed to take advantage of the natural landscape, with its attractive rolling hills. It is an oasis in a locality characterised by typically low density housing and the oversized homes for which Australia is now infamous.

Thoughtful architecture and streetscape design

Delfin and partners have incorporated much of the infrastructure required to support a socially sustainable community.

Now if only there was a railway station nearby…

Sadly, despite the best intentions of developers in striving to create liveable communities, there remains a gaping hole in place of high quality public transport infrastructure in Sydney’s western suburbs.