New cities, towns and communities are being created at unprecedented rate worldwide. If these are to become flourishing and sustainable places where people want to live and work, a new approach to planning is urgently needed.
This demands two radical shifts: first, from designing physical infrastructure, to creating services that support people; and second, from prioritising buildings to concentrating on community wellbeing. We need a change of focus from the city, to its streets and neighbourhoods. Technology has to become more than an invisible infrastructure; we need dynamic and interactive data that helps people navigate services and make informed choices.
Social Life brings together the expertise and practical skills needed to understand communities and cities. We know what makes people feel they belong, and what makes places flourish. Our experience of community-based research, and our work with key institutions across sectors, has given us a deep understanding of how to develop and spread innovative ways of planning and creating resilient, socially sustainable places.
We understand how places innovate. We have worked with public and private agencies to understand how places function, how to foster belonging and wellbeing and understand community resilience.
We know that effective community participation creates better services and places, that social networks can positively influence cohesion, resilience and wellbeing and that technology can encourage local networks and initiatives to grow.
Social Life will spread new ideas and good practice about how to make communities thrive.