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Social cohesion

Social contexts, security, safety and age structures must be taken into account when homes and residential areas are being planned.

Social contexts and needs

When homes and residential areas are being planned, it is important to take the existing composition of the social contexts into account, as well as what the desired social context is for the neighborhood, block and individual properties. Some issues that need to be considered include how passages, gathering areas and meeting places should be created or improved to promote encounters and social community or how conditions can be created that encourage people to stop or slow down, thus improving the chance of encounters. The issue might also involve which functions can improve social community in the immediate surroundings. Some examples include common areas, grilling areas, community gardens, bench groups, lawns, playgrounds, newsstands, cafés and restaurants. By planning for the different needs of the different groups of residents in terms of activities or a desire for peace and quiet, the setting can be designed to promote encounters between people of different ages who have different interests and cultural backgrounds.

Security and openness

A sense of security is a prerequisite for equality and diversity. Residential units, yards, streets and other public spaces are consequently designed to ensure a secure living environment. Achieving a sense of security allows all residents, people who work in the area and visitors to use the area on equal terms, which enables activities and public and commercial service, as well as a stronger urban environment.

Age perspective

Socially sustainable urban living attracts a diversity of people in different stages of life, generations and family constellations and with different cultures, interests, jobs and financial circumstances. As a means of strengthening the diversity of people who can live in the area, there is a mixture of different types of housing (e.g. apartment buildings, townhouses, student housing and senior housing), home sizes and forms of tenure (e.g. tenant-owned apartments, freehold units and rental apartments). In order to improve conditions for children in the living environment, it is important to keep their perspective in mind during development. The environment can be designed to accommodate child and road safety, provide access to playgrounds and activity areas for children and ensure that there are areas for playing and learning for children of different ages.

Digital infrastructure

Digital technology helps reinforce both sustainable lifestyles and social communities. This might pertain to free access to Wi-Fi, IT booking systems for shared cars, bicycles, tools and laundry rooms, applications that monitor energy and water usage and information-sharing channels in tenant-owners associations, rental properties or the immediate area.

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