About Us

Creating new communities involves far more than building homes and roads.  It is the residents of a community that bring a place to life and help it to gain its own particular identity.  However, much more is known about the physical and environmental challenges involved in building new settlements, than about how to plan, design and develop services and supports that can help new residents come together, share common interests, agree on local priorities and work together to create a sense of community.

People sitting in a meetingWe believe that building new communities that can flourish and become socially sustainable is as important as designing places that are physically, economically and environmentally sustainable. Creating flourishing, socially sustainable places is an issue of public value as well as the wellbeing, quality of life and satisfaction of future residents. 

This is not a new problem; there is much to be learnt from the UK and internationally about what makes some communities succeed and others fail.  High profile failures from the past show that creating new communities is genuinely challenging.  High aspirations for new places often end in disappointment and expensive interventions that must be funded by public services. 

This website discusses two of the main issues involved in making the next generation of new settlements into flourishing new communities: first, understanding the role of social design in new communities, specifically how to identify, design and develop the services, supports and social infrastructureGlossary: refers to the range of activities, organisations and facilities supporting the formation, development and maintenance of social relationships in a community that can help communities to flourish and succeed [read more].  Second, successful new communities of the future will be designed, developed and managed collaboratively by a wide variety of practitionersGlossary: are people engaged in an occupation or profession that is involved in planning and delivering settlements with existing and future residents.  Understanding how the ongoing involvement of local people, groups and partnerships can play a role in the long term management of new places, and how these considersations need to be reflected in how buildings and places are planned for and designed [read more].

This resource was created by the Young Foundation, the result of a project which looked at what lessons could be learnt from previous regeneration projects - stories from the field - that would be useful for the practitionersGlossary: are people engaged in an occupation or profession that is involved in planning and delivering settlements involved in building the new communities of the future. The focus of the project was to consider how best to build consideration for sustainable long-term stewardshipGlossary: refers, in this context, to the ongoing process of managing, maintaining and tending a community into plans for new settlements.

The Young Foundation hosted a series of seminars drawing together representatives of various national agencies, local authorities, developers and third sectorGlossary: refers to organisations are those that operate independently on a not-for-profit basis, usually defined as voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, mutuals or co-operatives organisations to discuss the issues that are covered in this website. You can read more about these seminars, including the presentations made by the speakers at these events on the Young Foundation's website.

The authors of this site were:

Liz Bartlett, an Associate at the Young Foundation

Merron Simpson from Merron Simpson Consulting Limited

Christina Acosta, an intern at the Young Foundation

Corinne Cordes, a Research and Programme Support Coordinator at the Young Foundation

Saffron Woodcraft, a Programme Leader at the Young Foundation

Lucia Caistor-Arendar, a Researcher at the Young Foundation


This site was created by Effusion