Meeting the housing challenge of the 21 st Century. ... getting the housing ‘offer’ right is crucial to the success of eco-towns and their role in inspiring and raising aspirations for the planning of all new development. Influences. Influences. Influences.
Meeting the housing challenge of the 21st Century
... getting the housing ‘offer’ right is crucial to the success of eco-towns and their role in inspiring and raising aspirations for the planning of all new development.
‘Sustainable communities meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, their children and other users, contribute to a high quality of life and provide opportunity and choice. They achieve this in ways that make effective use of natural resources, enhance the environment, promote social cohesion and inclusion and strengthen economic prosperity.’
‘ … communities that will stand the test of time, where people want to live, and which will enable people to meet their aspirations and potential.’Influences
the TCPA suggests that eco-towns should adopt the same approach as the London Plan – namely that 10 per cent of all new housing should be designed to be of wheelchair standard or easily adaptable
Crown Copyright 2008. Illustration produced by PRP Architects. Diagram indicative only
Housing for a Compact City. Greater London Assembly, 2003
‘green infrastructure cannot simply be assembled from parcels of marginal land not needed or wanted for housing’ (see http://www.tcpa.org.uk/pages/green-infrastructure.html). The planning of green space around housing should therefore embody the principle that the layout itself should provide for the needs of residents. This means planning for children’s play, sport and recreation alongside features providing a sense of belonging and community, rather than developing segregated areas for different types of activity.
The starting point for the design and allocation of housing is that it needs to be tenure blind. This can be achieved through removing design distinctions and mixing different tenures within a scheme – a practice sometimes known as ‘pepper potting’. However, eco-towns need to show ways of moving beyond current practice. One clear and progressive way of achieving this is to blur – or abandon – the distinctions between tenures for any particular dwelling.
Accessahome is an online housing lettings system for disabled people. It is designed to offer disabled people more housing options and increased choice about where they live. It provides an online database of adapted and accessible homes in the affordable sector. It provides a service to housing applicants and landlords by enabling a better match of applicants to accessible homes.
Two model houses designed by Henry Roberts that the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes erected in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition in 1851, to the Home World Exhibition and the Future Home Exhibition in Milton Keynes in 1981 and 1994
Eco-towns provide the opportunity to extend the very real challenge posed by these criteria. For example, criterion 5 is already too timid for an eco-town development, while, for example, criterion 11 could be turned on its head for eco-towns, with neither the building layout nor the highways dominating but both being subservient to the green framework. It would be valuable if all schemes could aspire to the Building for Life Gold Standard – meeting 16 of the 20 criteria – so that eco-towns can truly be exemplar developments.
The BedZED development in the London Borough of Sutton demonstrates that it is technically and financially possible to produce a building that does not degrade the environment, but improves and enhances it.
BedZED addresses a multitude of physical issues, among them maximising water re-use and reducing waste and energy consumption, and offers a myriad of energy-saving measures to residents. Integrated social provisions include a nursery, after-school clubs, a medical centre, an organic café, a bar, shops, internet access, and workspaces.
As part of the redevelopment of Borneo Sporenburg, 60 ‘free parcels’ of land were made available on which private individuals were able to build their own homes under the guidelines provided by the design codes. These individuals consulted with the architects in organised workshops, challenging them to meet their needs by responding creatively to the design code. The experience of Borneo Sporenburg has had a significant impact on Dutch urban planning, and free parcels are now often integrated into new planned neighbourhoods in the Netherlands.
Layout is also important in determining the ways in which an ecotown can be developed. For example, in Vauban in Freiburg, Germany , one of the attributes of the inclusive masterplanning process was the division of land into small lots and a preferential allocation to private builders and co-operative building projects.
Unlike individual homeownership, where residents have a personal mortgage loan to buy a home, the homes are financed by a corporate loan borrowed by a co-operative. The value of the buildings is divided into shares, and when members leave the co-operative they are entitled to take the equity that they have built up with them. The net value of the shares is calculated by reference to a fair valuation formula set out in the departing member’s occupancy agreement or lease, which is the same for all members.
Resident members of the co-operative also finance the management, maintenance, estate services and mortgage costs through the rents they pay to the co-operative, as well as controlling its budget. The rent is geared to be affordable at 35 per cent of net household income, so the more you earn the more you pay, and the more equity shares you own and finance.
‘The Government has committed to mandating smart meters and has set out an indicative timetable for getting smart metering to all homes by the end of 2020.’
The Government’s plans, and therefore the sustainability and affordability of all housing, would be supported if all homes in eco-towns were fitted with smart metering and energy management systems from the outset – instead of this simply being considered, as the PPS requires.
Recent research conservatively estimates the carbon cost of crime within the UK to be in the region of 6,000,000 tonnes of CO2. This is roughly equivalent to the total CO2 output of 6 million UK homes.
The environmental benefits of Secured by Design are fully supported by independent research proving that SBD housing developments suffer at least 50% less burglary, 25% less vehicle crime and 25% less criminal damage.
Active Design is an innovative set of design guidelines to promote opportunities for sport and physical activity in the design and layout of development. The guidance promotes sport and activity through three key Active Design principles of improving accessibility, enhancing amenity and increasing awareness.
... the Graylingwell housing development near Chichester has involved the creation of a Community Development Trust which will be endowed with the completed community buildings, to be run by local people for local people.
The Eldonian Community Based Housing Association Ltd was set up as a housing cooperative in 1983 by tenants from Eldon Street and Burlington Street in Liverpool. The homes of these residents were scheduled for demolition: this would have meant that the community would have been broken up and the people scattered to different parts of Merseyside. In 1990, the co-operative became a Community Based Housing Association, held directly accountable to its customers through consultation and customer participation. It is legally owned by its nominal shareholders (who have £1 holding each). Anyone over the age of 18 years who lives in an association property is entitled to apply to become a shareholder. Shareholders receive no profit.
the ‘Hammarby model’ of considering a settlement as a living organism, and thus looking at waste, energy, movement and accessibility as an integrated whole.
[email protected] people want to live, and which will enable people to meet their aspirations and potential.’