An urban village hall that adapts to local needs, a community art wall to enable public discourse, and a virtual reality game for development trade-offs are just three of 18 innovations profiled in a paper by the UK Green Building Council.
The report features a series of innovations, both existing and conceptual, across three areas:
- Engaging People: How can the sector better engage communities in the development process?
- Delivery Models: How can we disrupt existing delivery models to give more power to communities?
- Engaging Places: How can places better engage with people?
The work forms part of UKGBC’s Social Value programme, which has been made possible thanks to Programme Partners: Argent, Avison Young, BuroHappold Engineering, Hermes Investment Management, Rockwool and TFT.
Sophia Cox, sustainability advisor at UKGBC, said: “We know that in many areas the trust between developers and communities has been broken. This is at least partially because community engagement is often an arduous, ineffective process, and frustrating for both sides.
“This report provides a snapshot of innovations designed to inspire practitioners to consider bolder, more radical solutions. Communities must be at the heart of development, and developers must rethink their terms of engagement in order to pay more than lip service to local priorities.”
This report launches on the same day as Local Trust publish ‘Developing Potential: Lessons from Community experiences of regeneration’. Through detailed case studies, their report provides fitting insight into some of the current issues with community engagement in the UK. These are some of the very issues that UKGBC’s report seeks to offer solutions to.
Local Trust’s report highlights that: “The imbalance of power between those leading regeneration and the communities it affects […] results in a failure to recognise not only the real value of communities where neighbourhood change is concerned, but also the value of community anchor institutions in helping bridge the gap between residents, planners and developers.”