Community is all about having a sense of belonging and connection to others. A lack of community, or support can result in feelings of social isolation, and loneliness which can negatively impact our mental health. The same can be said for feeling excluded.
A lack of community, or support can result in feelings of social isolation, and loneliness which can negatively impact our mental health. The same can be said for feeling excluded.
Social equity addresses systemic inequalities to ensure everyone in a community has equal opportunity in a safe and healthy environment. This means fair access to livelihood, education and resources, distribution of public services, and full participation in the cultural life of the community.
Any building or place has a responsibility to enhance the quality of life of its local community through social equity and economic prosperity. Whilst not all sources of inequality can be tackled through the built environment, significant improvement can be made in this sector.
In 2019 our New Delhi studio developed a comprehensive package of urban design measures for neighbourhoods in Indian cities that support the health and wellbeing of children up to the age of five.
Special emphasis was given to creating safe and playful spaces for infants and toddlers, accessible and inclusive areas for caregivers, especially women; and promoting balanced and green strategies within the neighbourhood. The framework highlighted the impact of the built environment on early childhood with a set of improvements that would help create child-friendly neighbourhoods.
Boxpark is a very social space which has helped to create a vibrant neighbourhood whilst assisting local entrepreneurs who don’t have a lot of financial capital, to set up shop and target a hugely diverse audience.
The building contains 20 inward facing, container-sized food and beverage units, centred around a large, flexible, multi-purpose event space, but with the restaurant units reimagined as kitchen serveries, and communal dining in the central space, served by a large island bar.
The central space can be configured to cater for a huge variety of functions and is estimated to host over 200 events each year from pop-up cinemas, and Christmas markets to a match-day fanzone.
Gorse Hill Studios is a youth arts charity, who believe all young people have the right to social, emotional, and educational investment in their future. They work with young people encouraging them to value themselves by taking an active role in their community and learning.
BDP, along with Cubic Works, are providing architectural and acoustic design assistance to give the studio a much needed refresh, bringing it up to modern standards. A new layout will make better use of the space available considering current standards, with sound booths which achieve enhanced levels of acoustic separation in addition to appropriate room acoustic environments.
Contact: Gavin Stevenson
As part of Clerkenwell Design Week, we transformed the external hard cityscape frontage of our London studio into a temporary garden installation for visitors to enjoy.
To enhance the Urban Oasis experience, our acoustics team created a passive and interactive soundscape installation, utilising loudspeakers hidden within the landscape playing sounds of nature, including birdsong, waterways, and exotic wildlife, recorded in natural spaces and designed to never obviously repeat.
The installation was open to all, and found passers-by stopping to dwell and enjoy the sights and sounds of the space. The space formed an area for the local community to come together, and engaged people from various background to sit together through the sculptural forms within the garden design.
Contact: Gavin Stevenson
West Gorton Community Park was part of a £100m regeneration scheme of 500 new homes, new community facilities and school improvements in Manchester, UK. The aspiration for the park was to be an exemplar; not just an ingenious way to manage water effectively, but to connect the community and alleviate the effects of climate change.
This innovatively designed scheme lovingly named the ‘sponge park’ uses nature-based solutions to combat the effects of climate change and reduce stormwater flooding using an interconnected series of swales, rain gardens and bio-attenuation features.
It also has three different areas; a woodland area with tree-lined paths and play equipment; a biodiverse meadow with a picnic area and; an area for outdoor events – all aimed at encouraging local residents to interact with nature and feel a strong sense of community.
Llanelli Wellness and Life Science Village in Wales is to be a state-of-the-art sports and recreation centre with integrated facilities for healthcare, specialised care and later-life living.
This lakeside ‘wellbeing village’ development will promote active living alongside recovery and rehabilitation care. The mixture of uses will create a vibrant and diverse place which draws in a wide variety of people and integrates the young, old and the most vulnerable members of the local community. Synergy between health care provision and life sciences businesses will create sustainable local employment, nurture skills within the local workforce, and provide support to the local economy. The potential to share facilities will maximise the benefits of public investment.
Contact: Martin Jones
The University of Worcester is keen to promote a successful campus-community partnership through the redevelopment of their Severn Campus.
The plans will feature a number of health and wellbeing outdoor exercise parks dotted around the grounds, including sporting equipment specifically designed for wheelchair users and a balance station for more senior users. There will also be pedal-powered USB charging points: under a sheltered area to encourage meeting, socialising and activity.
Contact: Martin Jones