Design for Social Sustainability – a Framework for Creating Thriving Communities

Our starting point is that although there is widespread understanding of the physical and environmental challenges involved in creating new settlements, there is still much to be learnt about what makes some communities succeed and others fail. In this paper we argue that building new communities that can flourish and become socially successful and sustainable is as important as designing places that are physically, economically and environmentally sustainable.  Social sustainability is an issue of public value as well as the wellbeing, quality of life and satisfaction of future residents. It demands a new approach to planning, design and development that we call social design, which needs to be integrated into policy and professional practice across all the disciplines involved in the creation of new communities – much like the way standards of environmental sustainability have become widely adopted in recent years. This paper sets out how to plan, design and develop successful and socially sustainable new communities. The ideas and examples are drawn from a large scale review of evidence about what makes communities flourish, with practical examples and approaches from new settlements around the world.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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